OSU Feasts A Day Early, Gobbles Up Keydets

Senior William Buford scored 23 points to lead five Ohio State scorers in double figures as the Buckeyes rolled to a 107-74 win Wednesday night over Virginia Military Institute. The Buckeyes shot a blistering 67.6 percent from the field and handed out 30 team assists, the second highest single-game total in program history.

Ohio State celebrated Thanksgiving one day early, feasting on 67.6 percent shooting from the floor to run away with a 107-74 victory Wednesday night over Virginia Military Academy in front 13,660 fans at Value City Arena.

Five OSU players scored in double figures and three others tallied eight points each as the Buckeyes fired in 46 of their 68 shots from floor, including 5 of 10 (50.0 percent) from three-point range. It was by far the best shooting percentage of the young season for the Buckeyes (5-0).

Senior guard William Buford set the pace with nine of his team's first 14 points, finishing with a season-high 23. Buford, who made five of his first six shots from the floor, was 10 of 16 from the floor and pushed his career scoring total to 1,505 and past Jerry Francis (1,486, 1986-89) and Troy Taylor (1,497, 1982-85) into 17th place on the program's all-time list.

Sophomore forward Jared Sullinger logged another double-double – his third in five games this season and 21st of his career – tallying 17 points and 12 rebounds, while sophomore guard Aaron Craft added 13 points, eight assists and three steals.

Sophomore forwards Deshaun Thomas and J.D. Weatherspoon chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively, while junior forward Evan Ravenel, freshman guard Shannon Scott and freshman forward Sam Thompson each came off the bench to score eight points.

The Buckeyes passed out 30 assists as a team, the second-most in program history. The record is 31 against Michigan State in January 1975.

VMI (3-2) had a trio of double-figure scorers led by senior guard Keith Gabriel and senior forward Ron Burks, who combined for 40 points on 14-for-30 shooting. Their teammates made only 11 of their 36 combined shots for 34 points as the Keydets shot a season-low 37.9 percent from the floor.

VMI entered the game averaging 88.2 points and 44.6 percent from the floor.

The Buckeyes blew apart a 5-5 tie early with a 25-9 run. Buford tallied 10 of the points during the stretch that also saw seven points from Sullinger.

That made it 30-14 in favor of Ohio State at the 12:28 mark of the first half and the Buckeyes never looked back. They pushed their lead to 20 at 36-16 with 10:37 remaining before VMI made things slightly interesting down the stretch.

Taking advantage of the OSU bench players who were gaining valuable playing time, the Keydets whittled the deficit to 12 after Gabriel hit back-to-back baskets, making it 42-30 with 4:49 left to play in the opening half. And later, a three-ball from Burks cut the deficit to nine at 52-43 at the 1:31 mark.

But the Buckeyes scored five of the half's final six points to take a 57-44 cushion into the locker room, then scored 24 of the first 29 points of the second half to make it a laugher.

Sullinger contributed eight points during the spurt, including the first three baskets of the half, while Buford tallied seven and Craft added six to push the Ohio State lead to 81-49 with 11:42 remaining in the game. All that remained was for the Buckeyes to set the final score.

Their biggest lead of the night was 40 after three straight Weatherspoon dunks made it 91-51 at the 9:53 mark, and they cruised home with the 33-point cushion.

Ohio State returns to action Friday against Valparaiso (5-1) of the Horizon League. Tip is set for 6:30 p.m. Eastern from Value City Arena with the game scheduled to be televised by the Big Ten Network

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