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.
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.