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Like clockwork, undefeated Buckeyes improve to 24-0

Courtesy of Joe Michaud-Scora / Minnesota Daily

In the No. 1 Ohio State men’s basketball team’s win against Michigan on Thursday, it took more than 26 minutes for forward David Lighty to score his first point. But on Sunday, the senior didn’t wait nearly as long to make an impact at Minnesota.

Lighty led the Buckeyes (24-0, 11-0 Big Ten) with 19 points, 13 of which came in the first half, as OSU beat the Golden Gophers (16-7, 5-6 Big Ten), 82-69.

Minnesota hung with OSU early, and after a 3-pointer from senior guard Blake Hoffarber, the Golden Gophers cut the Buckeyes’ lead to two about 10 minutes in. OSU responded with a 10-0 run capped with a Lighty 3-pointer, and the Buckeyes took a 38-30 lead to the break.

Senior center Dallas Lauderdale, who scored just two points in eight minutes in OSU’s last game, scored the Buckeyes’ first six points and eight of their first 10 of the second half. Lauderdale went to the bench with three fouls and 15 minutes remaining, but in his absence the Buckeyes went on a quick 7-0 run to open up a 51-37 lead.

The 14-point lead was OSU’s largest to that point, but the Buckeyes led by as many as 19 in the win. Lauderdale finished with 10 points, just the fourth time all season he’s scored in double digits, and the first time since Dec. 17.

Freshman forward Jared Sullinger’s 18 points and 13 rebounds gave him his 11th double-double of the season, and all five OSU starters scored in double figures.

OSU’s 24-0 record is its second-best start to a season, three wins shy of the 1960-61 team’s 27-0 start.

The Buckeyes are off until they travel to Madison, Wis., to play Wisconsin (17-5, 7-3 Big Ten) at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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