Fresh off cracking the top 10 in the AP Poll earlier in the day, No. 10 Ohio State cruised to an 86-51 dismantling of the Stetson Hatters in Value City Arena on Monday night.
Kyle Young led the Buckeyes with 15 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the season. Kaleb Wesson added 13 points, and freshmen D.J. Carton and E.J. Liddell added six points each in the first half and finished with 10 and 8 points, respectively.
Ohio State (4-0) wasted no time jumping on the outmatched Hatters, starting the game on an 8-0 run that forced Stetson head coach Don Jones to call a timeout just over two minutes into the opening half.
Stetson finally got on the board with 16:33 left in the half as Christiaan Jones banked home a three to cut the Ohio State lead to 8-3.
But Stetson would wait a very long time before they would see another shot attempt fall as they missed their next 19 attempts while watching Ohio State build a 28-3 lead on the strength of a 20-0 run following the three by Jones.
Andre Wesson, playing in his first game since suffering a fractured eye socket during Ohio State’s season opener against Cincinnati, got in on the scoring with a three-pointer to increase the Buckeyes’ lead to 19 at 22-3 with 11:31 left in the half.
Back-to-back buckets by Liddell increased the Ohio State lead to 38-6 late in the first half, and Carton’s field goal with 1:21 remaining pushed the lead to its largest margin at 42-8.
Stetson closed the half with made field goals on their final two possessions, but the damage had already been done as Ohio State went to the locker room with a 42-14 lead. The Buckeyes shot 48 percent on 15-31 shooting in the first half, while the Hatters shot just 14 percent on 4-28 shooting.
Stetson finished the first half with more turnovers (9) than made field goals (4).
Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann was able to play eleven players in the first half, and nine of them recorded at least two points, including all four freshmen.
There was no slowing down for the Buckeyes in the second half as a C.J. Walker three-point play and a three-pointer by Andre Wesson capped off a 21-5 run over the first five minutes to increase their lead to 63-19.
Justin Ahrens’ third triple of the game pushed the Ohio State lead to 77-34 with under seven minutes to play as Holtmann began to empy his bench.
For the game, Ohio State shot 45.5 percent from the field. Stetson, behind their horrific first half performance, managed to shoot just 28 percent for the game, although they were much better in the second half, knocking down 41 percent of their shots.
Ohio State will return to action on Friday evening when they take on Purdue Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. in Value City Arena.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.