This one wasn't expected to be close, and it largely lived up to the billing.
Morehead State led Wednesday's showdown at the Covelli Center for all of one minute and four second early in the first half before a mid-range jumper from Duane Washington Jr. gave Ohio State an 8-7 lead that his team never relinquished. The Buckeyes entered halftime with a double-digit lead, extended it to 15 with an E.J. Liddell jumper less than three minutes into the second half and rolled for a 77-44 victory.
With the win, Ohio State improved to 3-0 with all three wins coming against low-major opposition.
Liddell set the tone offensively, scoring 12 of his 16 points in the first half to go along with four of his seven rebounds in the game's first 20 minutes. The sophomore forward was seen as somebody who could ascend this season after his first full year in the program, and that has evidently happened. This is his third game in a row scoring in double-figures, which he never accomplished as a true freshman.
Along with Liddell, Ohio State won the battle inside with Kyle Young adding 10 points and nine rebounds. Three of his boards came on the offensive end of the court, and he drained his first 3-pointer of the season after head coach Chris Holtmann touted his outside shooting in the offseason. Justice Sueing (11 points), Duane Washington Jr. (11 points), CJ Walker (11 points) also scored in double-figures to propel the Buckeyes' offense.
Morehead State, as expected, struggled to get much going on its end of the court. The Eagles hit only 25 percent of their shots and got out-rebounded, 43-32.
Ohio State had notable edges in second-chance points (15-2) and fast-break points (14-0). It shot 44.3 percent from the field and after missing its first six 3-pointers, made 10-of-26 percent of its triples.
Next up: Ohio State plays host to Alabama A&M at the Schottenstein Center at 7 p.m. Saturday.
- Seth Towns (knee) went through warmups for the first time as a Buckeye on Wednesday, however he did not play. On Monday, Chris Holtmann mentioned the Harvard graduate transfer is "making progress," but he still isn't quite ready to make his debut.
- Musa Jallow (lower-leg injury) missed Wednesday's game, too. He was sidelined and wore a medical boot.
- This was the second men's basketball game at the Covelli Center in a row. Holtmann's team played there to minimize costs for Ohio State, which would have had to swap between the basketball court and hockey ice if it tipped off in the Schottenstein Center. All remaining home men's basketball games are slated to be played at the Schottenstein Center, but Holtmann didn't rule out the Covelli Center.
- Justin Ahrens was the first off the bench for the Buckeyes on Wednesday after Zed Key was the sixth man the first two games.
- Eugene Brown threw down the first dunk of his career on Wednesday.
- Ohio State is now 6-0 all-time against Morehead State. The Buckeyes' prior most recent win came in 2014.