Sunday’s upset loss to Minnesota was the first time the ball didn’t bounce Ohio State’s way this season. The Buckeyes got back in the win column Tuesday, but the ball continued to bounce in the opposite direction, out of bounds or into the hands of the opponent.
No. 5 Ohio State (10-1) overcame 13 first-half turnovers in an otherwise hot shooting night to capture a 80-48 bounce-back win against Southeast Missouri State (3-8) at the Schottenstein Center.
“We were a little bit sped up, and their pressure at times bothered us. Their ball-screen defense bothered us at times in the first half with some of their traps and their hedges,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said. “We changed a little bit how we were attacking it in the second half, and I think that opened up some things.”
The Buckeyes found a groove in the second half, as two straight 3s from freshman guard D.J. Carton and another from junior forward Kaleb Wesson were part of a 12-0 run in 1:36 that quickly blew the lead to 27.
Midway through the first half, though, Ohio State had nearly as many turnovers as points, with 11 giveaways, while Southeast Missouri State took a 16-12 lead after a 3-pointer from junior forward Isaiah Gable.
The answer came from an unlikely source, as junior forward Kyle Young hit just the fourth 3-pointer of his career, followed by another from Kaleb Wesson, as Ohio State regained the lead on a 13-1 run.
“I think we just needed to slow it down a little bit. We were moving too fast. We just needed to play our own game,” Young said. “Once we did that in the second half, we were able to do us and get back to what we were doing.”
Southeast Missouri State mustered just 22 points on 25 percent shooting while Ohio State continued to increase the gap in the second half. The Redhawks shot 4-for-19 from beyond the arc in the game.
The Redhawks managed just three points off of Ohio State’s season-high 21 turnovers for the game, which were six more than its previous high.
Kaleb Wesson finished with a game-high 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting and 10 rebounds. It was his fourth double-double of the season.
“No matter what you do, you’re going to have to help some way, shape or form when he gets the ball in the post,” Southeast Missouri State head coach Rick Ray said.
The Buckeyes shot better than 63 percent in the first half and stifled Southeast Missouri State to just 8-for-28 shooting, but the turnovers aided in keeping the Buckeye lead manageable.
Ohio State took a 35-26 lead into the locker room following four points by redshirt junior guard C.J. Walker in the final 40 seconds of play.
Carton pushed the lead to 30 midway into the second half on an emphatic left-handed dunk that sent the Buckeye crowd into an uproar. Carton had eight of his 10 points in the second half.
Sophomore guard Duane Washington, Ohio State’s second leading scorer at 11.4 points per game, missed his second straight game with a rib injury.
Taking Washington’s place in the starting lineup for the second straight game, senior forward Andre Wesson scored 14 points. Wesson hit three consecutive 3s in the game’s waning minutes.
For a moment it appeared the Buckeyes may lose another starter, as Kaleb Wesson went down clutching his knee following an offensive possession three minutes into the game. He limped into the locker room under his own power, and came running back out to rejoin the team a few minutes later.
“My knee kind of rolled up under on me, but it was fine,” Kaleb Wesson said. “It scared me more than it hurt me.”
Young was the fourth Buckeye to score in double-digits, finishing with 10 points without missing any of his four shots from the field.
Ohio State will travel to Las Vegas Saturday for its third top 10 matchup of the season with No. 6 Kentucky for a 5:15 p.m. tipoff.