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.

About Matt Barker

Matt Barker began blogging on the Buckeyes for the web site, AllSports.com, back during Ohio State's championship year of 2002. Going out on his own, Mr. Barker began Buckeye Banter in August of 2003, now in its 10th year.