The Ohio State Buckeyes proved why they are ranked No. 3 in the nation on Friday night, shooting a blistering 60.8 percent and rolling over the Kansas City ‘Roos, 91-45 at Value City Arena in front of a crowd of 17,478.
UMKC (2-3) made the Buckeyes (4-0) earn it early in the contest, trailing just 8-3 after the first six minutes, but they heated up from there, starting with a three from Lenzelle Smith Jr., followed by nine more points in the next 55 seconds to make it 20-3.
The ‘Roos scored the next five points, thanks to junior Kirk Korver and sophomore Estan Tyler, to get within 12, but it was all OSU from there. By the 2:01 mark, the Buckeyes were up by a 30-point margin, and took a 53-18 advantage into the half.
Kansas City shot only 23.1 percent in the half, and had 12 turnovers in the period, while Ohio State hit 67.8 percent from the field, including a 15-to-4 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Buckeyes used that to out-score UMKC by a 21-1 margin in points off turnovers during the stanza.
The second period saw the ‘Roos improve in all those areas, only being out-scored by a 38-27 clip, but the scoring touch was never there, as the Bucks defended Kansas City hard all night. The ‘Roos were held to only 25.5 percent from the floor, and hit only one three-pointer in the contest. OSU shot 52.2 percent in the final half.
The Buckeye lead got to as many as 48 in the game. Both teams were able to get their bench in for significant minutes, with Ohio State playing Duke on Wednesday, and UMKC starting conference play on Thursday.
The ‘Roos were led by Tyler and senior Thomas Staton with seven points each, while 11 different players scored. The Buckeyes were paced by leading scorer Deshaun Thomas with 21 points and eight boards, with four others in double-figures, including a double-double from Shannon Scott with 10 points and 10 assists.
Kansas City will host IUPUI on Thursday night at Swinney Recreation Center at 7:05 p.m.