Terence Dials had a career-high 25 points and nine rebounds as the Buckeyes turned back the Vikings 78-54 before 11,924 at Value City Arena.
"I think tonight we got ourselves off, for whatever reason, it felt a little bit sluggish," Matta said. "We never got the tempo the way we wanted it. I thought we gave them some easy baskets in the first half. In the second half, we executed our offense better than we had and we got some stops when we had to have them."
It was a night where the Buckeyes (6-2), who hit 17 threes against Chattanooga two weeks ago and 15 against Clemson, could not find their stroke from behind the arc. OSU was just 4 of 16 (25 percent) on three-pointers.
But Dials was there to bail them out. He was 9 of 16 from the floor and 7 of 8 at the foul line.
"The defense was playing behind me tonight," Dials said. "I just tried to take advantage of what I was getting. The guards were doing a good job getting the ball in. I just needed to finish them basically."
Dials opened the season with a 23-point outburst against Towson. But in the six games since, he had only averaged 8.3 points per game.
"We had seen a lot of junk defenses and a lot of double teams and guards digging (at the post)," Dials said. "But tonight the guards didn't dig and there wasn't a double team coming."
Je'Kel Foster came off the bench to add 12 points, hitting 5 of 6 shots from the floor. J.J. Sullinger added eight points and a season-hiigh 10 rebounds.
"Coach challenged us at the beginning to rebound the ball," Sullinger said. "We haven't been rebounding the ball extremely well. We worked on offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding and just being tough. I guess I was just at the right place at the right time."
Foster admitted that the announcement this week that OSU was taking a self-imposed postseason ban for past NCAA rules violations may have deflated the squad a bit.
"Of course, every team wants to play in postseason play," he said. "We took it on the chin this week. But we're just going to try to play hard and make some upsets."
Tony Stockman had seven points and six assists for OSU. Jamar Butler had six points, Ivan Harris tallied five. Brandon Fuss-Cheatham and Matt Marinchick each had four, while Ricardo Billings scored three and Matt Sylvester and Matt Terwilliger each had two.
Blake Walker led Portland State (4-4) with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Seamus Mosley had 13 points and six rebounds.
Portland State was hanging tough, trailing 18-16 with eight minutes to play in the first half. But the Buckeyes hit the gas pedal and reeled off 10 straight points over the next four minutes. Fuss-Cheatham got the run started with a jumper in the lane. Dials then made a layup, scored on a follow and had a jam off a feed from Fuss-Cheatham. Harris capped the run with a tip-in to put OSU ahead 28-16 with 4:15 left in the half.
Dials' rebound basket off a Sylvester miss with five seconds left gave the Buckeyes a 35-22 advantage.
OSU jumped on Portland State with an 11-3 run to open the second half. Stockman scored five points during that run and also fed Sullinger for nice alley oop. Dials' two free throws gave OSU a 46-25 lead with 15:08 left in the game.
But Portland State never allowed the lead to balloon much beyond that. OSU's biggest lead came on the final 24-point margin on Foster's breakaway dunk off a turnover with 5.6 seconds left.
* OSU takes to the road Thursday to face Texas Tech at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. That game, set for a 9 p.m. start, will be televised by ESPN. The time has been set for OSU's next home game, next Sunday against Morehead State. It will be a 4 p.m. start.
* The Buckeyes improved to 81-20 all-time in Value City Arena.
* Foster's 12 points were an OSU career high for him.
* OSU has led at halftime in all eight games it has played this year.