Charleston Southern scored the first points of the evening at the Schottenstein Center Thursday. But once Ohio State got on the board 42 seconds later, the Buccaneers never sniffed another lead.
Make it two wins in four days for the Buckeyes, who continued their strong start to the new season by taking care of business against Charleston Southern in the second non-conference matchup of the early season.
Ohio State didn’t let up after an early onslaught that saw the Buckeyes embark on a 23-4 run following the game-opening bucket by the Buccaneers. Much of that work was done by Zed Key, who led all Buckeyes with 17 points and 13 boards – 13 and 10 in the first half alone – as the big man was the tip of the spear during an 82-56 win.
The Buckeyes got off to relatively slow starts in both their exhibition against Chaminade and Monday’s season opener, but Key and company made sure that wasn’t the case Thursday. Ohio State held a 24-point lead at halftime and things didn’t get much better for the Buccaneers after that.
Following Key’s lead, Justice Sueing, Sean McNeil and Brice Sensabaugh finished with big nights of their own, combining to score 38 points as all three hit double-digit scoring totals before the final buzzer sounded.
Key set the tone inside early. The third-year center scored the first six points of the game for Ohio State, including two dunks, and dished to Sean McNeil for a 3-point make that was part of an 11-0 run into the first timeout.
|31-60 (51.7%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||22-65 (33.8%)|
|4-15 (26.7%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||5-22 (22.7%)|
|16-18 (88.9%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||7-10 (70%)|
Six different Buckeyes scored during a five-and-a-half-minute stretch through the middle of the first half wherein Ohio State outscored Charleston Southern 17-1 to extend its lead to 23 points with 8:07 to play in the first period.
Key repeatedly gashed the Buccanneers on the offensive glass, and finished the half with 13 points and 10 boards. Ohio State scored 12 second-chance points to just four from Charleston Southern, and the Buckeyes held a 26-10 edge in the paint.
The Buccaneers hit just one of their final eight shots to end the half down 46-22, and converted only 29% of their field-goal attempts. Charleston Southern connected on just one of its 11 3-point attempts.
On the other side, Ohio State shot 51.6%, outrebounded Charleston Southern 25-14 and got to the free-throw line six more times.
Two more Key dunks were part of a 13-5 stretch to open the final frame for Ohio State, which mounted a 59-27 lead by the 15:16 mark. But Charleston Southern chipped away at the Buckeye advantage thereafter.
The Buccaneers went on a 7-0 run in under 90 seconds, and even after Felix Okpara ended it with a dunk for Ohio State, Charleston Southern answered back immediately with an inside basket of its own.
By that point, though, it was too little too late for a real comeback attempt for Charleston Southern. Ohio State stemmed the tide and cruised to victory even amid an improved half of play from its opponent.
McNeil did most of his work in the second half, scoring seven points on 3-for-5 shooting, and Roddy Gayle came alive off the bench to score seven of his nine points after the intermission.
- Junior guard Eugene Brown (concussion) missed his second straight game.
- Walk-on guard Colby Baumann (ankle) was in a walking boot after being injured late in the season opener.
- Thursday’s matchup was the first ever between Ohio State and Charleston Southern on the basketball court.
- Chris Holtmann went 4-2 against Charleston Southern when he served as head coach at Gardner-Webb in the Big South from 2010-13.
- Bruce Thornton, Sean McNeil, Isaac Likekele, Justice Sueing and Zed Key made up the starting five for the Buckeyes for the second straight game.
- Tanner Holden, Brice Sensabaugh and Roddy Gayle were the first players in off the bench for Ohio State.