COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)Five players scored in double figures for No. 19 Ohio State, which routed Bowling Green 89-58 on Monday night.
After escaping with closer-than-expected wins in their first two games, the Buckeyes started pouring it on early and never allowed the Mid-American Conference squad to get close.
”I felt like we did a really good job pressuring the ball tonight, making them feel uncomfortable,” Ohio State forward Justin Ahrens said.
E.J. Liddell and Meechie Johnson each scored 13 points. Zed Key had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Eugene Brown III had a career-high 12.
Chandler Turner led the Falcons with 12 points, and Samari Curtis and Joe Reese each had 11 points.
Ohio State (3-0) opened with a 24-4 run and took a 41-18 lead into halftime.
The Buckeyes shot 51% from the floor, hitting 12 of 32 attempts from beyond the arc. Their bench contributed 39 points, spearheaded by Johnson.
The Falcons (1-2) never found a rhythm, shooting a 25.8% in the first half before finishing at 39%. Ohio State led by as much as 42 in the second half.
”I don’t necessarily think it was their defense as much as us missing shots,” Falcons coach Michael Huger said. ”I think that we had great looks, we just missed. Those go in, it’s a different game.”
Liddell carried the Buckeyes throughout the first two games, averaging 27 points and setting a career high with 29 against Niagara.
But on Monday, 10 players scored for Ohio State, the most through the three games.
”I think our guys really shared the ball,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. ”Our guys did a really good job of making a lot of one-mores. An outstanding offensive ball distribution, an outstanding assists-turnover game.”
The Buckeyes forced a season-high 18 turnovers and scored 20 points off of them. Ohio State had 27 assists.
”I feel like we took a step forward just in our chemistry as a whole,” Ahrens said.
Lingering groin issues forced Ohio State forward Justice Sueing to miss Monday’s game, and it appears he’ll be out awhile.
Holtmann said the Buckeyes sent Sueing to a specialist in Cleveland, and he doesn’t know if the injury will end Sueing’s season. Sueing averaged six points in the first two games.
”I think it’s significant,” Holtmann said.
Bowling Green: The Falcons were ice cold and also were overpowered on the boards 43-32.
”When you can’t score and you can’t get stops, it’s difficult to win games,” Huger said.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes played their most complete game of the season after both Akron and Niagara hung around. But the Buckeyes also had a season-high 11 turnovers Monday.
Bowling Green: Hosts Norfolk State on Friday.
Ohio State: Plays at Xavier on Thursday.
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