Ohio State cruises past Wright State

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – D’Angelo Russell scored 24 points on a stellar shooting night and Amir Williams added a career-high 21 to lead No. 21 Ohio State past Wright State 100-55 on Saturday.

The Buckeyes (11-2) begin Big Ten by hosting Iowa on Tuesday. They have won all 11 home games but have gone 0-2 away from Value City Arena — against the best two teams they played, No. 4 Louisville and No. 20 North Carolina.

Russell was 7 of 8 from the field, including 6 for 6 behind the arc, and 4 of 5 on free throws. Williams’ previous best was 18 points a year ago against North Florida.

Kam Williams added 15 and Marc Loving 13 points for Ohio State, which shot 61 percent from the field.

Grant Benzinger had 12 points and Joe Thomasson 10 for Wright State (8-6), which has lost two in a row after a four-game winning streak.

The Buckeyes rolled to a 10-0 lead and never looked back. After the Raiders pulled as close as 20-11, Ohio State ran off 18 of the next 21 points for a 38-14 upper hand.

Amir Williams scored the Buckeyes’ first five points and seven of the first 14.

Up 47-18 at the break after shooting 59 percent (16 of 27) from the field, the Buckeyes pulled away.

TIP-INS

Wright State: The Raiders have not had much success on the national stage lately, but they did shake up the Big Ten — and the national rankings — almost exactly 15 years earlier.

Michigan State (8-4) was ranked No. 8 when it played at Wright State’s Nutter Center on Dec. 30, 1999. The Raiders were just 3-8 coming in.

But, at least for one night, they played a flawless game. They hit eight consecutive free throws in the final 3:15, including two clinching shots by Marcus May with 13 seconds remaining, to stun the Spartans 53-49.

How big of an upset was it?

The Raiders finished up 11-17 — 0-13 on the road and 11-3 at home.

And Michigan State, which did not have superlative point guard Mateen Cleaves that night because of a stress fracture in his foot, went on to win the national championship.

Ohio State: The game against Wright State was the Buckeyes’ last before beginning Big Ten play.

There has been much criticism of Ohio State’s non-conference schedule, which has included games against UMass-Lowell, Sacred Heart, Campbell, High Point and North Carolina A&T. Coach Thad Matta likes an easy schedule in November and December so he can develop his younger players and build up their confidence to the start of conference play.

It’s hard to argue with his record. In Matta’s 10 previous years at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have won at least a share of the regular-season title five times and have added four Big Ten tournament titles (and three losses in the finale).

UP NEXT

Wright State: The Raiders open Horizon League play on Friday against Detroit.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes begin Big Ten play at home with two games against I-schools: Iowa on Tuesday and Illinois on Jan. 3.

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