Desperately trying to establish some sort of post presence, Stetson worked the ball to starting center Mahamadou Diawara near the midway point of the first half. There, he was met by Ohio State freshman E.J. Liddell, who rejected his shot.

The ball went right back to the 6-foot-10 Hatters center, so he tried again only to be met with the same result: a strong block from the 6-foot-6 Liddell. The ball headed out of bounds this time, and given a third chance the Hatters again tried to set up their offense against the Buckeyes.

That possession ended when freshman guard Terry Ivery gunned a pass through the paint and out of bounds, nowhere near any of his teammates. Seconds later, Ohio State freshman D.J. Carton scored in the paint at the other end with 9:48 to play that gave the No. 10 Buckeyes a 26-3 lead.

It was that kind of night. Against a clearly overmatched Stetson team, Ohio State (4-0) scored on its first eight possessions, pressured the Hatters (2-2) into missing 23 of their first 24 shots, opened the game with a 28-3 lead and never trailed in an 86-51 win that felt assured when Stetson coach Donnie Jones called a timeout 3:13 into the game already trailing 8-0.

Kyle Young finished with his second career double-double, scoring a career-high 15 points and tying a career high with 13 rebounds, to lead the Buckeyes.

It would take a late first-half spurt for the Hatters to get into double-digit scoring as Ohio State methodically built a lead that would reach as high as 34 points before halftime. It took a Christiaan Jones jumper with 2:10 remaining to give Stetson its second made field goal of the game, and the first was a banked-in three-pointer by Jones at the 16:37 mark. It also drew a smattering of applause from the Ohio State crowd.

Stetson then got consecutive three-pointers from Rob Perry following the late Jones jumper, prompting Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann to call timeout with 42 seconds left and the lead at 42-14. It would stay there leading into the break after

The game marked the return of Ohio State senior Andre Wesson, who suffered a fractured right eye socket during the second half of the season-opening win against Cincinnati on Nov. 6. He missed two games but entered the game as a substitute after the first media timeout and received applause as his name was announced with 15:46 to play in the first half and would finish with six points, three assists and two rebounds in 21 minutes.

Freshman Ibrahima Diallo scored his first career points on a left-handed hook shot in the paint with 7:35 left in the first half. Of the 11 Buckeyes to see first-half action, nine made at least one field goal.

ajardy@dispatch.com

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