It was the last tuneup for the Buckeyes (9-1) before Saturday's rematch with No. 9 Kansas. The Jayhawks beat them twice last year, once at Allen Fieldhouse and in the Final Four.
Whether Ohio State was looking past Winthrop (4-5) and ahead to Kansas, or whether the Eagles just played well and the Buckeyes did not, the game was in doubt until Thomas got hot.
Lenzelle Smith, Jr., added 14 points for the Buckeyes, who have won four in a row, all at home, since a 73-68 defeat at No. 2 Duke on Nov. 28 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge — a game the Buckeyes led most of the way.
Thomas added nine rebounds and a career-high four assists.
NO. 9 KANSAS 87, RICHMOND 59
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jeff Withey had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Ben McLemore added 14 points and KU used another big first-half run to help put away Richmond.
Travis Releford and Naadir Tharpe each added 11 points, and Elijah Johnson had seven assists for the Jayhawks (9-1).
The Jayhawks used an 18-0 first-half run to bury the Spiders, allowing them to push their home winning streak to 28 games, tied for the sixth-longest in school history.
Derrick Williams had 14 points and Cedrick Lindsay finished with 12 for the Spiders (9-3).