Wednesday, Dec 07, 2016
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Ohio State

Buckeyes run wild: Offense explodes in 90-72 win over UNC-Asheville

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Ohio State's Sam Thompson dunks the ball in front of UNC-Asheville's Trent Meyer, left, and D.J. Cunningham during the first half on Saturday.

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COLUMBUS — Grammy-winning singer and pianist Bruce Hornsby sent a tweet to Ohio State coach Thad Matta on Friday night.

In it, he asked for the seventh-ranked Buckeyes to take it easy on his son, UNC Asheville guard Keith Hornsby, when the teams met on Saturday.

The Buckeyes obliged — Hornsby lit up the Buckeyes for a career-best 26 points — but Ohio State still had the last laugh.

"That's just the way it is," Matta cracked, parroting the title of the older Hornsby's biggest hit.

Sam Thompson scored a career-high 18 points and Ohio State (8-1) relished the chance to get out and run in coasting to a 90-72 victory over the Bulldogs (3-7).

Deshaun Thomas had 17 points, Lenzelle Smith, Jr., 16, and Evan Ravenel tied a career best with 12 points in the first half for the Buckeyes (8-1), who tuned up for a big showdown next Saturday against No. 9 Kansas in the fourth game in an eight-game homestand.

After playing a series of teams content to slow it down against a lean and fast team, the Buckeyes were like horses let out of a corral.

"We watched film a lot on them the past couple of days and we noticed that they didn't stop the ball particularly well," said Thompson, who electrified the crowd with a breakaway, windmill dunk after the game was long decided. "We knew that if we could get stops, we knew we could push the ball up the floor and could get to the rim and create for ourselves and other people."

They outscored the Bulldogs (3-7) 26-2 in fastbreak points for easy baskets and rim-rattling dunks.

"The part I was most disappointed in from our standpoint is we didn't get back on defense all night long and we let them penetrate," Asheville coach Eddie Beidenbach said.

 

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