COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Tougher games loom on the schedule for No. 23 Ohio State. But so far, the Buckeyes have passed every early test.
Kaleb Wesson had 19 points and three teammates also scored in double figures as Ohio State pulled away in the second half to beat Cleveland State 89-62 on Friday night.
C.J. Jackson had 17 points, Andre Wesson scored 11 and Luther Muhammad added 10 for the Buckeyes (6-0).
Ohio State led 38-29 at the half. Jackson hit a layup to open the second half and kick off a 10-2 Ohio State run. Cleveland State couldn’t get any closer as the Buckeyes outscored the Vikings 51-33 in the half. They led by as much as 30 with more than nine minutes left.
“I’ve seen our potential in our guys since June,” Kaleb Wesson said. “We believe in our guys.”
Stefan Kenic led the Vikings (2-4) with 13 points, Seth Millner had 10 and Algevon Eichelberger had nine points and nine rebounds.
Neither team was very good from long range. Ohio State shot just 36.8 percent (7 of 19) on 3-pointers, and Cleveland State shot 28.6 percent (6 of 21).
“I thought (Cleveland State) was the tougher team for 20 minutes,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “But it was good to see us respond in the second half.”
Cleveland State: The Horizon League team couldn’t keep up offensively, shooting 35 percent for the floor compared with 54.1 percent for Ohio State. The Vikings also committed 18 turnovers.
“They are going to win a bunch of games,” Cleveland State coach Dennis Felton said of the Buckeyes. “They are a team that plays with a lot of physicality, so it turned out to be a very rich experience for us.”
Ohio State: The Buckeyes continue to handle their early-season tune-ups with relative ease and look more deserving of their place in the AP Top 25.
“We have a really challenging stretch ahead of us,” Holtmann said. “We got better tonight.”
THE BRIGHT SIDE
Despite the final score, Felton was impressed with the Vikings’ tenacity.
“We competed,” he said. “And offensively, we actually executed a lot of the things that we wanted to execute.”
Holtmann showed up for his postgame interview session with an Archie Griffin No. 45 jersey to show his support for the football Buckeyes, who play Michigan on Saturday. “I can’t wait to sit back tomorrow and be a fan. And be one heck of a fan,” Holtmann said. … Kaleb’s Wesson’s 19 points tied his career high. … All 12 Ohio State players who are eligible to play this season saw minutes for the Buckeyes, and every one of them except walk-on Danny Hummer scored. … Jackson made the 100th 3-pointer of his Ohio State career. … Jaedon LeDee led Ohio State with eight rebounds in just 12 minutes on the floor.
Cleveland State: Hosts Purdue Fort Wayne on Sunday.
Ohio State: Hosts Syracuse on Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
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