Closing out the first and second half’s of games has been Ohio State’s biggest area concern in recent weeks, but against Youngstown State, it was getting started that hampered the Buckeyes.
Chris Holtmann’s squad opened the game by missing its first six shots and never led in the first half, before collecting itself in the second to secure a 75-56 win over the Penguins on Tuesday night at the Schottenstein Center.
Trailing 25-22 at halftime, Ohio State opened the second half on a 12-2 run to take a 34-27 lead with 15:54 to play on a Keyshawn Woods three-pointer. The Buckeyes never looked back from there, as their largest lead of the game was also the final margin of victory at 19.
The Buckeyes were led by Kaleb Wesson, who finished with a career-high 31 points, 26 of which came in the final frame. Wesson made all eight of his shot attempts in the second half and added seven boards in the victory.
Ohio State never led in the first half as Youngstown State opened the game on a 14-2 run. The Buckeyes missed their first six shots as the 12-point deficit matched their largest of the year.
Wesson got Ohio State on the board first and, along with C.J. Jackson, led the Buckeyes in scoring at halftime with five points. Chris Holtmann’s squad shot 7-of-29 from the floor in the opening frame and missed its first 10 three-point shots. The lone make from long range came from Jackson, who picked up a loose ball and buried a shot from beyond the arc with nine seconds remaining in the first half.
Youngstown State was led by Springfield, Ohio native Darius Quisenberry, who scored 17 points for the Penguins.
The Buckeyes are set to return to action Saturday in Chicago to take on UCLA at the United Center. The game is part of the annual CBS Sports Classic and is scheduled to tip at 3 p.m. and be televised on CBS.