Buckeyes tighten up the “D” in second half, lasso Cowboys 65-50

Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored 20 points with eight rebounds, while junior center Amir Williams added 12 points and a career-high 16 boards as No. 7/6 Ohio State defeated Wyoming, 65-50, at Value City Arena in Columbus, Monday night.

Marc Loving #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes lays in the ball for two points in the first half past Larry Nance Jr. #22 of the Wyoming Cowboys on November 25, 2013 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Marc Loving #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes lays in the ball for two points in the first half past Larry Nance Jr. #22 of the Wyoming Cowboys on November 25, 2013 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 25-15 lead with 8:33 left in the first half following a tip-in by freshman forward Marc Loving. But the Cowboys went on a 15-7 run, and after a dunk by Larry Nance Jr. with 2:12 remaining until intermission, trailed just 32-30.

At halftime, Ohio State held a 38-34 advantage.

In the second half, Wyoming took its first lead since the 12:19 mark of the opening period when Josh Adams scored on a conventional three-point play to put the Cowboys up with 16:15 to go. Then Wyoming claimed its biggest advantage after a free throw from Nance Jr. put the Pokes ahead 43-39 with 14:17 to go.

From there, though, it was all Buckeyes as Ohio State outscored Wyoming 18-4 in a span that totaled seven minutes, 57 seconds. Senior guard Aaron Craft scored all 10 of his points during that spurt, while Smith Jr. added six points on two, three-pointers.

Defensively, it was a tale of two halves for the Buckeyes. In the first half, Wyoming was 15-of-27 (55.6%) from the field. But in the second stanza, the Cowboys were just 4-of-26 (15.4%) from the floor.

Meanwhile, Ohio State was 23-of-56 (41.1%) from the field, 8-of-23 (34.8%) from three-point range, and 11-of-16 (68.8%) from the charity stripe.

The Buckeyes also outrebouned the Cowboys, 42-29.

Up next, Ohio State hosts North Florida from the Atlantic Sun Conference, Friday night. Tip-off at Value City Arena is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on BTN.