Ashland led OSU 17-15 with 10 minutes left in the first half. But the Buckeyes exploded by outscoring the Eagles 38-14 over the remainder of the half. That spurt helped OSU go on and take a 100-67 win before 6,166 at Value City Arena.
"We don't want to be a team that needs something exciting to happen so we can play sound or play with toughness," said OSU coach Thad Matta. "But that is part of being in early November and continuing to build. Some guys may not be tying their defense to their offense."
Ronald Lewis came off the bench to lead OSU with 18 points and five rebounds. Lewis was part of OSU's late first-half rising.
"We picked up our pressure," said Lewis, who was 8 of 13 from the floor. "We let them do whatever they wanted to do. But then we picked up the pressure. We got in the passing lanes and started to D up. Hopefully that will happen from the start (from now on)."
All 10 of OSU's scholarship players scored eight points or more in the win.
"That is something we have to do," Matta said. "We need everybody involved. Terence only getting four shots, we probably need to get him more shots. But he also has to do a better job of staying out of foul trouble. He had some fouls on the rebound and, as a senior, he has to know he can't have those."
For the game, OSU hit 55.2 percent of its shots from the floor (37 of 67) and was 41.7 percent (10 of 24) on three-point attempts.
Vahn Knight led Ashland with 15 points, while Greg Emmons had 13 points and Justin Brown had 11.
"Certainly, they are a deep team," Ashland coach Roger Lyons said of OSU. "They are big and deep and well coached. When they need a basket, they know exactly where to go with the ball. I see nothing but good things for them. They've got speed, got size and they're well coached. When you have those things, you have a chance to win games on any level."
Ashland led 17-15 with 11:53 left in the first half after Emmons hit a three-pointer. OSU started its big run with eight straight points, including a three-point play by Lewis and a three-pointer by Sylvester.
Matta called a timeout with 8:33 left in the half after Knight snagged a loose ball and scored amid a crowd of Buckeyes.
"I didn't think the loose ball – even if you don't get it – you don't let the guy pick it up and shoot an open shot," Matta said. "That was a lack of aggressiveness you don't want to see. I know we're not going to play perfect, but I think we can play hard."
Shortly thereafter, OSU reeled off 13 straight points, including a Lewis layup off a Butler steal, a Lewis jam off another Butler steal, a Harris three-pointer and a Lewis layup off his own steal, to push the lead to 38-24 with 3:36 left in the half.
Butler then hit three threes in the final 2:51 of the half as OSU built its halftime lead to 53-31.
"He gave us a spark off the bench," Lewis said of Butler. "He started us and everybody followed along. If you see one person do it, everybody wants to do it."
OSU kept the hammer down with a 19-6 run to start the second half. Lewis keyed this run with eight points, including an alley oop from Mayes and a wicked baseline jam. OSU led 72-37 with 12:50 left.
A Bell three-pointer pushed the lead to 38 at 81-43 with 9:29 left. Foster made a three-pointer for a 39-point lead at 84-45 with 7:19 left.
Mayes made a back door layup off a Butler feed with 9.7 seconds left as OSU hit the century mark.
* For the second exhibition game, Dials, Sylvester, Foster and Sullinger were again starters. But Mayes replaced Lewis in the lineup.
"Ron wasn't sure he was going to play today," Matta said. "He jammed his toe Friday in practice. (Trainer) Vinnie (O'Brien) did a great job getting him back healed. I told him we would see how he felt today and if he can go he can go and if not don't worry about it. We probably would have started Ron had he not been injured."
* It was reported on Saturday that Butler and Terwilliger will miss next Sunday's regular season opener as a penalty for playing in a sanctioned three-on-three charity basketball tournament.
"The rules are the rules," Matta said. "It is funny getting on kids for playing basketball. But this is one of those deals where it was a mistake. We need to learn from our mistake and hopefully that never happens again."
Matta was asked how that would affect the Buckeyes, who would only have eight scholarship players available.
"We're down two guys," he said. "In year six (as a head coach), I have dealt with a lot of different hands. It is what it is, as the players say, so we just go."
* The Buckeyes open the regular season next Saturday at 2 p.m. against Chicago State. Because of NFL obligations on WBNS-TV (Ch. 10), the game will be televised by Ohio News Network.
Matta discussed areas of concern as the Buckeyes point toward their opener.
"Post defense and rebounding will be paramount this week," Matta said. "Those were two things I didn't think we did that well at times today. We will be honing in our offensive execution. We need to continue to build our conditioning base."