Having had the ability of slowing down the tempo and making it hard for opponents to rack up points all season, Savannah State had Ohio State’s attention long before Wednesday night’s tip in Value City Arena.
The No. 7 Buckeyes came into the game fully aware that they’d have to dictate the tempo if they wanted to continue their streak of successful basketball, and junior forward Deshaun Thomas helped OSU speed things up out of the gate.
Thomas scored 21 points of his 22 points in the first half to help Ohio State earn a big advantage early, then the Buckeyes cruised from there to easily defeated Savannah State 85-45 to earn their third consecutive victory.
For the second time in as many games, Ohio State had four scorers in double figures. LaQuinton Ross scored all of his 13 points in the second half, Shannon Scott added 12 and senior big man Evan Ravenel notched 11 points and nine rebounds.
Arnold Louis led Savannah State with 14 points.
Savannah State (5-5) scored the first bucket on a baseline jumper from Rashad Hassan, but the Buckeyes went on to score 32 of the next 45 points over the course of the next 14:33 of the first half. Thomas scored 15 points during that run, helping to life Ohio State to the 42-18 lead at halftime.
Despite trailing by 24 points at the break, Savannah State started the second half on a 7-2 run. Ohio State, however, was able to put its opponent back on the ropes by continuing to play at a quick tempo.
Scott's three-point play with 12:01 remaining in the game to give the Buckeyes the 64-31 lead, which helped OSU surpass the most points given up by the Tigers all season. Savannah State limited then-No. 5 Florida to only 58 points in a 58-40 loss to the Gators on Nov. 20.
Ohio State is next in action against UNC-Ashville on Saturday at noon in Value City Arena.
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