Five Buckeyes scored in double figures led by senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr.’s 18 points as No. 11/10 Ohio State blasted the Bears of Morgan State, 89-50, at Value City Arena on Saturday.
Leading 29-19 with 6:40 left in the first half after Morgan State’s Blake Bozeman drained a three-pointer, the Buckeyes closed out the opening period scoring 20 of the game’s next 24 points and headed to the locker room up 49-23 at the break.
From there, the closest the Bears would get was 25 points on four separate occasions early in the second stanza.
Along with Smith Jr.’s 18 points, junior guard Shannon Scott added 16 points and dished out a team-high seven assists, junior forward LaQuinton Ross recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, junior forward Sam Thompson also scored 14, and freshman forward Marc Loving added 10 points for the victors.
The Buckeyes were 31-of-65 (47.7%) from the field, 11-of-25 (44.0%) from the beyond the arc, and 16-of-22 (72.7%) from the charity stripe. The Bears hit 30.8 percent (20-65) of their shots from the floor, 16.7 percent (3-18) from three-point range, and 46.7 percent (7-15) from the free throw line. Ohio State outrebounded Morgan State, 55-34, but the Buckeyes committed 16 turnovers while the Bears had just 12 miscues.
Up next, Ohio State will take on in-state rival Ohio, Tuesday night. The Bobcats are 1-0 on the season after defeating Northern Iowa, 75-64, at the Convocation Center in Athens last Saturday.
Ohio is led by by 6-foot-8 junior forward Maurice Ndour, who scored 20 points with five rebounds and two blocked shots against the Panthers. Nick Kellogg, a 6-foot-3 senior guard and son of former OSU great, Clark Kellogg, added 16 points and five boards against Northern Iowa. Kellogg is the only returning starter from last year’s squad.
Last season, the Bobcats were 24-10 overall and finished tied for first in the Mid-American Conference with a 14-2 mark, but lost to Akron in the MAC tournament champion game and failed to get an NCAA tourney invite.
Following the Ohio contest, the Buckeyes next game is Saturday as Ohio State takes on Marquette at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET, and it will be televised on FOX with Gus Johnson and Bill Raferty.