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Published: Wednesday, 12/11/2013

Smith scores 19 to pace OSU

BLADE STAFF
Ohio State's Lenzelle Smith, front, shoots over Bryant's Claybrin McMath during the second half. Ohio State's Lenzelle Smith, front, shoots over Bryant's Claybrin McMath during the second half.
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COLUMBUS — Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored 19 points and No. 3 Ohio State pulled away early to beat Bryant 86-48 on Wednesday night.

Amir Williams added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Buckeyes (9-0).

It was an early round game in the Blackrock Gotham Classic which will conclude on Dec. 21 with the Buckeyes meeting Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden.

Dyami Starks had 16 points for Bryant (6-5), which was playing its second game in three nights. The Bulldogs lost at Notre Dame, 70-59.

The Bulldogs hung around with the Buckeyes for a while, but then went scoreless over the last 5:25 of the first half and watched the Buckeyes close on an 8-0 run to take a 43-23 lead.

Ohio State then scored the first five points of the second half before Garvin's layup ended a drought of 6:40.

Smith hit 6 of 9 shots from the field including half of his four 3-point attempts. He had eight rebounds and three assists.

Starks came in averaging 22.1 points a game, eighth-best in Division I. He had scored at least 20 in five games and 30 in three others.

He was held to 5-of-15 shooting from the field.

The Buckeyes led 8-7 early and then scored 14 of the next 18 points to take command.

A driving layup by Garvin cut the lead to 28-20 with 8 minutes left but Williams dunked off an assist from Marc Loving, Scott hit a baseline layup and Smith followed a blocked layup with a three-point play to push the lead to 15 points.

The Buckeyes shot 54 percent in the opening half, hitting 15 of 28 shots with 22 points coming in the paint.

For the game, they shot 52 percent on 32 of 61. They hit 8 of 20 3-pointers (40 percent).

Bryant shot 28 percent from the field (16 of 58). It was 6 of 24 from behind the arc.

The Bulldogs dropped to 0-5 all-time against Big Ten opponents. Talk about a tough schedule: They played preseason No. 1 Indiana in the opener a year ago — in their first official game in Division I. They lost that game 97-54.

Smith had 12 points for the Buckeyes, which had eight other players score.

The Buckeyes came in averaging 75.6 points a game while giving up 54.5. They were playing a member of the Northeast Conference for the second straight game, having beaten Central Connecticut State 76-54 on Saturday.

LaQuinton Ross finished with nine points for the Buckeyes.

He was selected as the Big Ten player of the week after scoring 20 points against Maryland and a career-high 23 against CCSU.



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