Just about everything went right in Ohio State’s 77-40 win over Youngstown State on Tuesday night at Value City Arena.
The only downside to the Buckeyes’ evening was freshman center Micah Potter injuring his left ankle on the opening tip when he landed on the official’s foot. He could not walk off the court under his own power.
Head coach Thad Matta said Potter's injury wasn't too serious, though.
"Micah's good," Matta said after the game. "He rolled his ankle. From what the ref told me, he stepped on his foot. I have been doing this a long time and I have never seen that before in my life. He's in a boot right now and it will be a day-by-day (approach). He's a pretty tough kid; he'll get back quick."
Ohio State (9-3) scored 12 of the game’s first 13 points and then went on a 13-0 run midway through the first half to lead, 27-5. Five different Buckeyes contributed during the run. Junior forward Jae’Sean Tate led the way with four points.
YSU (6-7) finished the first half with more turnovers (11) than made field goals (four). The Penguins took 27 shots in the first period, posting a dismal 14.8 shooting percentage. OSU, meanwhile, shot 16 of 33 from the field (48.5 percent) in the first 20 minutes to lead, 42-14, at the break.
The Ohio State lead swelled to as many as 40 when sophomore center David Bell hit a jumper with 3:07 left in the game to put the Buckeyes in front, 77-37. He and junior center Trevor Thompson filled in for the injured Potter.
"I thought the guys did a great job tonight of sticking to what we want to do, defensively," Matta said. "I thought our execution was really good at times, offensively. We had some letdowns in transition, defensively, but I thought that they did a nice job of sustaining the effort that we wanted."
Four players for OSU finished the game in double figures. Junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, Tate and junior guard Kam Williams all had 15 points apiece while Thompson added another 11.
Williams made 6 of 9 shots (66.7 percent) and looks to be getting out of his shooting slump. In the previous three games combined, the Maryland native shot 7 of 30 from the field (23.3 percent).
"It felt real good," Williams said of his shooting performance. "It was real fun being out there. It felt real good. It's one of the best feelings in the world when you get your mojo back. I just thank God that he blessed me with this game."
Thompson notched his third double-double of the year by grabbing 15 rebounds.
YSU senior forward Matt Donlan led his team with 10 points. He was the only Penguin to reach double figures, as the team concluded the night by making just 13 of 62 field goals (21.0 percent).
"I said this before the game to our kids, I thought this is one of the better Ohio State defensive teams that I've seen since I've been here," said 12th-year Youngstown State head coach Jerry Slocum.
Ohio State concludes its nonconference schedule Thursday night when it hosts UNC Asheville (8-4) of the Big South at 9 (ET).