Ohio State has been a shell of itself on the road this season, and an injured Kyle Young left the team even more hobbled Thursday.
But No. 23 Ohio State (19-9, 9-8 Big Ten) still had more than enough to put away next-to-last-place Nebraska (7-21, 2-15) with a dominant 75-54 win in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Sophomore guard Duane Washington started the game in place of Young — out with a high ankle sprain — and the Buckeyes’ second-leading scorer wasted no time taking advantage.
Washington knocked down three straight triples in the opening 2:31, two of which were assisted by redshirt junior guard CJ Walker.
When Washington finally missed one, Walker turned to sophomore guard Luther Muhammad, who stayed hot with a 3 of his own after a season-high 22-point performance against Maryland Sunday.
The Buckeyes started 5-for-6 from beyond the arc, and when Washington hit his fourth 3 with 3:01 remaining in the first half, Ohio State took a commanding 39-18 lead.
Washington led the charge from the outside early, but junior forward Kaleb Wesson maintained the pace down low in the second half, getting to the free throw for six attempts in the first 5:22.
Wesson got two more post looks to go down before the 12-minute mark, extending the Buckeye lead to 21 on both buckets. Wesson shot just 3-for-10 on the night, but knocked down 10-of-13 free throws.
Walker, Wesson and Washington combined for 45 of the Buckeyes’ 75 points Thursday, as all three finished in double figures.
Washington scored all 14 of his points in the first half, and Wesson led the Buckeyes with 16 points and 18 rebounds. No other player grabbed more than six boards on the night.
Following Washington’s final 3 in the first half, Nebraska showed signs of life with a 7-0 run courtesy of buckets from junior guards Thorir Thorbjarnarson and Dachon Burke and sophomore guard Cam Mack.
Burke finished with a team-high 13 points, and Mack added 12 of his own.
But Walker scored four of his 11 first-half points in the final 1:03 to help Ohio State trot to the locker room with a 43-27 lead.
Despite an extended drought that saw 11 straight missed field goal attempts by the Buckeyes from 10:27 to 6:08, the Cornhuskers struggled to close the gap, misfiring on all six 3-point attempts in the first half and shooting below 38 percent from the floor.
Ohio State freshman forward E.J. Liddell helped fill in for Young’s usual yeoman effort to the tune of four blocks in the first half, with one rejection wedging a shot attempt from Burke between the backboard and rim.
With the win Thursday, Ohio State has now won seven of its past nine games.
The Buckeyes return home for their second matchup of the season against Michigan at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Schottenstein Center.