CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Ohio State went into the Dean E. Smith Center, took on a top-10 team and will head back to Columbus still undefeated.
With a complete game, including stifling defense that held North Carolina to shoot 27.4 percent from the floor, the sixth-ranked Buckeyes topped the No. 7 Tar Heels, 74-49, on Wednesday night as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and the highest-ranked non-conference win of the Chris Holtmann era.
|#6 OHIO STATE||29||45||74|
|#7 NORTH CAROLINA||27||22||49|
Ohio State's record improved to 8-0, and North Carolina fell to 6-2.
The Buckeyes' run to pull away from the Tar Heels came early in the second half. After entering halftime with a two-point lead, they went on a 19-9 run in the first seven minutes of the latter 20-minute period to take a 48-36 lead, powered by six points from Duane Washington Jr. After taking a double-digit lead, Ohio State continued to pull away. A 14-0 run late in the second half turned the game into a blowout.
Washington dropped a team-high 18 points, hitting 6-of-15 shots and making 4-of-8 3-pointers. He added five rebounds.
|OHIO STATE||STAT||NORTH CAROLINA|
|26-56 (46.4%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||17-62 (27.4%)|
|10-26 (38.5%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||7-24 (30.4%)|
|12-15 (80%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||8-13 (61.5%)|
E.J. Liddell, a freshman playing his first career road game, had 12 points and five rebounds. CJ Walker and Kaleb Wesson both scored 10 points and Wesson added nine rebounds.
Ohio State's run came in the second half because of its issues hanging onto the ball in the first half. It held just a 29-27 lead at halftime yet squandered the potential for a significantly larger advantage due to a bevy of turnovers, many of which were unforced. It coughed the ball up 10 times in the first half, yet the Tar Heels managed just six points off of them. They had only three first-half turnovers yet couldn't turn that edge into a lead.
North Carolina couldn't get much of anything going consistently on offense. Cole Anthony, a potential top-five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, scored 15 points, hitting 4-of-15 shots, to lead the way.
Next up: Ohio State returns home to take on Penn State (6-1) in its first Big Ten game of the season on Saturday. The game will tip off at noon and be shown on Big Ten Network.
- Ibrahima Diallo did not play due to flu-like symptoms, per Ohio State. With Musa Jallow continuing his recovery from ankle surgery and Justice Sueing sitting out, the Buckeyes had just 10 scholarship players at their disposal.
- Chris Holtmann started the same lineup he has used in all of the first eight games: Kaleb Wesson, Kyle Young, Luther Muhammad, Duane Washington Jr. and C.J. Walker.
- Freshman Alonzo Gaffney entered the game in the first half but did not score any points.
- Former Buckeyes players Greg Oden, Mark Titus and Joey Lane were among those in attendance at the Dean E. Smith Center, along with former Tar Heel Rasheed Wallace and athletic director Gene Smith.
- Armando Bacot suffered an ankle injury in the first half and did not return. The 6-foot-10, 232-pound freshman forward entered the game ranked second on UNC in points per game and first in rebounds per game.
- Sueing and Jallow both made the trip from Columbus with the team to watch the game from the bench.