Balanced Scoring Keys OSU Victory

No. 2 Ohio State remained unbeaten this season with a lopsided victory against visiting Oakland. Six Buckeyes finished in double figures led by freshman reserve Deshaun Thomas, who had 17.

A second-half run propelled No. 2 Ohio State to a convincing victory against dark horse foe Oakland.

After seeing a double-digit first-half lead whittled down to four points in the final minutes, the Buckeyes opened up a lead that nearly reached 40 points in the second half before earning a 92-63 victory.

OSU (12-0) ended the first half on a 4-0 run and wasted no time adding to it in the second half against the Grizzlies (7-8). An 11-3 run to open the final half capped by a three-pointer from freshman point guard Aaron Craft gave the Buckeyes a 48-31 lead at the 16:41 mark and the team's balanced scoring attack took over from there.

Six Buckeyes finished in double figures as OSU put together a 33-14 run in the first 12 minutes of the second half. When Oakland's Keith Benson picked up his fifth foul at the 8:34 mark, OSU freshman Jared Sullinger connected on a pair of free throws to make the score 70-42.

From there, a number of reserves saw significant minutes as the Buckeyes cruised to the victory.

Freshman reserve Deshaun Thomas led the way with 17 points in 15 minutes of action. Classmate Jared Sullinger finished with 16 and a team-high nine rebounds while seniors David Lighty and Jon Diebler each had 13 points. Junior William Buford and Craft added 12 apiece.

It marked the first double-digit scoring game of Craft's career, although he left the game with what appeared to be a lower-leg cramp.

The Buckeyes were on the verge of blowing the game open during the first half only to go cold from the field and allow the Grizzlies to claw back into the contest. One game after connecting on a career-high seven three-pointers, Lighty hit his first of the night to make it 28-15 in favor of the home team with 6:31 to play.

It marked the biggest lead of the first half for OSU, but Oakland countered with a 7-0 run during the next four minutes. During that stretch, the Buckeyes went 0 for 3 from the floor and Lighty missed three free throws. It took a three-pointer from Craft from the right corner at the 2:46 mark to break the skid and push his team's lead up to nine points at 31-22.

A 5-0 Oakland run cut the deficit to four at 31-27, but the Buckeyes pulled away from there.

Those struggles in stark contrast to the start of the game when the Buckeyes opened with an 8-0 run broken by an Oakland three-pointer at the 16:20 mark. The visitors first three baskets were three-pointers, the final of which made it 17-9 Buckeyes.

It remained a nine-point OSU lead at the break at 37-28. The Grizzlies held the ball for the final shot of the stanza, but Craft came up with a steal deep in the backcourt and heaved a desperation half-court shot that connected with the back of the iron but did not fall.

The Grizzlies were playing their third game in four nights, while the Buckeyes were playing their second in three nights.

Senior forward Dallas Lauderdale finished with six blocks, moving into third place all-time in school history.

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