No. 18 Ohio State moved to 2-0 on the season with a 76-56 win over UMass-Lowell on Sunday afternoon in Value City Arena.
Kaleb Wesson led the Buckeyes with a first-half double-double, finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman D.J. Carton added 13 points and four assists.
Much like they did in their season-opening win over Cincinnati on Wednesday, Ohio State began the game cold offensively as they came up empty on their first five possessions as UMass-Lowell built an early 6-0 lead.
C.J. Walker’s layup with 16:31 on the clock gave Ohio State their first points of the day. Wesson followed that up with a three-pointer on the next possession, and Luther Muhammad’s jumper gave the Buckeyes their first lead of the day at 7-6 with 15:43 to play in the first half.
Duane Washington Jr.’s three with 8:51 left in the opening period sparked an 11-3 run by the Buckeyes that increased their lead to nine points at 29-18 with five minutes remaining in the half.
Carton’s first three-pointer of the day pushed the Ohio State first-half lead to 38-25, and it would stay there as the two teams headed to the locker room.
Wesson led all first-half performers with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and D.J. Carton added seven points.
With Kyle Young picking up two early fouls, freshman forward Alonzo Gaffney was called upon to play the first minutes of his college career. He recorded five points and five rebounds over six minutes in the first half and finished with 10 points and eight boards.
As a team, Ohio State shot 50 percent in the first half, connecting on 14 of their 28 attempts.
Ohio State opened up the second half on a 12-5 run, including back-to-back threes by Luther Muhammad and Washington to increase the Buckeye lead to 50-30 with 15 minutes to play.
Their lead ballooned to as many as 30 points and head coach Chris Holtmann was able to substitute freely as they cruised through the final 10 minutes en route to the 20-point victory.
In total, 12 Buckeyes saw minutes in the game, and five scored in double figures. Young, after scoring a career-high 14 points on Wednesday, scored 10 points and Muhammad added 11 to join Wesson, Carton, and Gaffney with at least 10 points.
Ohio State shot 49 percent for the game, including a 9-23 effort from the three-point line, but was just 11-22 from the free-throw line after going just 19-29 in their win over Cincinnati.
UMass-Lowell was held to just 33 percent shooting for the game, going 20 of 61 from the field. Obadiah Noel led the River Hawks with 15 points. Josh Gantz, a Grove City native and Bishop Ready graduate, added six points.
The competition will ramp up significantly next week as Ohio State takes on No. 10 Villanova in Value City Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Tipoff for that game is 7 p.m. and FS1 will have the broadcast.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.