Five cagers score in double figures as Buckeyes shoot down Ospreys, 99-64

Five Buckeyes scored in double figures led by junior center Amir Williams’ 18 points as No. 7/6 Ohio State easily defeated North Florida, 99-64, at Value City Arena in Columbus on Friday night.

Freshman forward Marc Loving with a sweet, one-hand jam in the first half against North Florida. (BTN Video)

Freshman forward Marc Loving with a sweet, one-hand jam in the first half against North Florida. (BTN Video)

Ohio State jumped out to a comfortable 24-6 lead less than eight minutes into the game after Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored on a jumper with 11:59 left in the first half.

But North Florida had other ideas, at least temporarily.

The Ospreys mounted a 14-4 run that was capped off on a three-pointer from Beau Beech that trimmed the Buckeyes’ lead down to 28-20 with 7:44 to go until intermission.

Unfortunately for North Florida, that’s as close as they would get the rest of the contest.

Ohio State held a 48-29 advantage at halftime, and took its biggest lead of the game with 3:01 remaining following a three-pointer by senior guard Aaron Craft that put the Buckeyes up 96-59.

Along with Williams’ 18, junior forward LaQuinton Ross added 17 points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, while sophomore guard Amedeo Della Valle also scored 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point range and a pair of free throws. Craft tallied 16 points and five assists. Smith Jr. contributed 10 points, six rebounds and six assists.

For the game, Ohio State shot a blistering 69.2 percent (36-52) from the field, 14-of-23 (60.9%) from beyond the arc, but was just 13-of-22 (59.1%) from the charity stripe. North Florida shot 38.5 percent (20-52) from the floor, hit 9-of-19 (47.4%) from downtown, and was 15-of-20 (75.0) from the foul line.

Up next, Ohio State hosts Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, next Wednesday. Tip-off at Value City Arena is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on ESPN.

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.