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Published: Tuesday, 12/28/2010

Buford ignites Ohio State rout

Ohio State's William Buford drives to the basket against Tennessee-Martin's Reuben Clayton. It was the ninth-biggest victory in school history. Ohio State's William Buford drives to the basket against Tennessee-Martin's Reuben Clayton. It was the ninth-biggest victory in school history.
JAY LAPRETE / AP Enlarge

COLUMBUS — William Buford scored the first seven points of the game and came out of an offensive funk to finish with 23 to lead No. 2 Ohio State to a 100-40 victory over Tennessee-Martin Monday night.

Deshaun Thomas added 20 points, Jared Sullinger had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and David Lighty and Dallas Lauderdale scored 10 points apiece for the Buckeyes (13-0), one of eight remaining Division I unbeatens. They are off to the fourth-best start in the program's 112 seasons.

It was the ninth-biggest victory margin in Ohio State history.

Ohio State took a 12-0 lead after the opening 3 minutes, then scored the first 18 points of the second half.

Reuben Clayton had 11 points for the Skyhawks (4-9), coming off a 4-25 mark a year ago and picked to finish last in the Ohio Valley Conference this season.

The Skyhawks hit just 17 of 63 shots from the field (27 percent) while the Buckeyes were 41 of 70 (59 percent). Ohio State also had a 49-28 edge on the boards and forced 19 turnovers while committing just nine.

Coach Thad Matta moved to 97-2 against unranked teams at home and 90-17 against non-conference opponents in his seven years at Ohio State.

Ahead 49-17 at the half, Ohio State poured it on in the opening 5 minutes of the second half, going on an 18-0 run before Terence Smith ended the drought with a short jumper.

UT Martin fell to 0-9 against the Big Ten and 0-2 against Ohio State.

Buford, the Buckeyes' second-leading scorer a year ago, had gotten off to a slow start this season. His shooting percentages overall, on 3-pointers and at the line were all down and he was averaging 12.5 points — down from 14.4 points as a sophomore.

But he made sure that he and the Buckeyes got off to a quick start. Buford hit a jumper from the right corner to open the scoring, then made a breakaway layup and popped in a 3-pointer to make it 7-0 after the first 1:06.

Sullinger then scored the next five points as the Buckeyes led 12-0. The Skyhawks didn't get on the board until Terence Smith's runner from just inside the free-throw line fell in at the 16:46 mark.

UT Martin finished the half just 7 of 31 from the field for 23 percent to Ohio State's 20 of 36 (56 percent).

The Buckeyes' early lead at the break was built around Buford's 16 points, 12 by Sullinger and 10 more from Thomas.

The Buckeyes improved some gaudy numbers at the expense of the Skyhawks. As a ranked team, Ohio State is 374-105 all-time, is 26-7 when ranked No. 2 and 253-56 with wins in 44 of its last 46 games when ranked in the top 10.

Former Ohio State center Greg Oden, who led the Buckeyes to the national championship game, sat courtside. He received a lengthy standing ovation when a montage of highlights from his one year at Ohio State were played.



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