Ohio State got back in the win column Saturday afternoon thanks in large part to its big man, Kaleb Wesson.
The Westerville, Ohio native scored the first 12 points of the game for Ohio State, which came away with a 76-62 home win over Rutgers, avenging a 64-61 loss to the Scarlet Knights in Piscataway, N.J. on Jan. 9. Wesson finished with 27 points, just four off of his career high of 31.
Wesson opened the game by making his first six shots from the floor, including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the three-point line. He missed just one shot in the first half and had 21 at the break as the Buckeyes took a 37-29 into the locker room.
Ohio State led by as many as 13 in the first half and made more shots from behind the arc (7) than inside the arc (6). Of the 13 made shots, Wesson had eight.
The second half featured a different start, as Wesson was held scoreless for the first nine minutes of the frame. In his stead, Ohio State got major contributions from C.J. Jackson who accounted for the first five Buckeye points of the second half and took on the scoring load for Chris Holtmann’s squad.
Jackson finished with 20 points, 17 of which came in the final 20 minutes. He also added a team-high seven boards. Luther Muhammad and Keyshawn Woods also finished in double-digits scoring, finishing with 12 and 11 respectively. The Scarlet Knights never got closer than six points in the second half, with Ohio State’s lead swelling to as many as 16 in the final seconds.
The Scarlet Knights were led Eugene Omoruyi, who poured in 19 points to go along with eight rebounds. Ohio State held star Rutgers guard Geo Baker to just five points in 35 minutes of game action.
The Buckeyes are set to return to action Thursday when they are set to host Penn State. Ohio State lost all three of its matchups against the Nittany Lions last season, including one in the Big Ten Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.