The beat goes on for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes (15-4, 6-0 Big Ten) dominated Rutgers (11-8, 1-5 Big Ten) 68-46 in Piscataway, New Jersey, Sunday night. It was the fewest points Rutgers has scored this season and the fewest an opponent has scored against Ohio State the entire year.
Rutgers floundered through much of the first half, shooting only 6-for-31 (19.4 percent) from the field and scoring just 15 points. It finished the game 17-for-59 (29 percent). Freshman guard Geo Baker led the team with 14 points, 12 coming from made triples.
Ohio State was more consistent, shooting 47 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range. Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with 20 points and nine rebounds.
The Buckeyes controlled the glass and interior play against the Scarlet Knights, holding an 46-30 rebound advantage and outscoring them 32-14 in the paint.
Both teams got off to slow starts in the first eight minutes of the game, with Ohio State shooting just 3-for-13 and Rutgers going 3-for-10. After Rutgers took a 9-8 lead, sophomore center Micah Potter made a long 3 to put Ohio State up 11-9 with 10:19 left in the first half.
The Buckeyes expanded their lead to 15-9 three minutes later, following back-to-back layups off steals from Bates-Diop and redshirt senior guard Andrew Dakich. Ohio State’s 7-0 run was snapped by a pair of free throws, but Ohio State went on another 11-0 run to go ahead 26-11. Rutgers snapped a 0-for-12 streak shooting from the field with a layup with 2:20 left in the half.
The Scarlet Knights continued their abysmal play to open the second half, going just 1-for-8 from the field while the Buckeyes distanced themselves from their opponents with a 20-3 run with just under 14 minutes left to play.
Trailing 48-18 after Ohio State’s run, Rutgers responded with a burst of its own, going 13-0 over the next 2:28.
Ohio State remains on the road for its next contest when it travels to Rosemont, Illinois, for a matchup against Northwestern Wednesday. The game starts at 9 p.m.