COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — No. 18 Ohio State hopes the latest tuneup game will have its young players ready to go against a top 10 team this week.
The Buckeyes routed UMass-Lowell 76-56 on Sunday to take a 2-0 record into an early season matchup with No. 10 Villanova at home Wednesday night.
"Villanova is a blue-blood program, and I think Jay (Wright) is one of the top two or three coaches in the country," Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann said. "This is a quick turnaround for us. It will be a great challenge."
The Buckeyes will need solid games from their talented freshmen. The best of them, Bettendorf guard D.J. Carton, had 13 points on Sunday. Carton was 5 of 6 from the field, including 3 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Ohio State shrugged off a slow start against overmatched UMass-Lowell (1-2) and grabbed the lead for good seven minutes into the game.
The Buckeyes eventually led by as many as 31 points in the second half before the River Hawks cut the final margin to 20. UMass-Lowell shot just 33 percent from the floor and 22 percent from beyond the arc.
Kaleb Wesson had a one-handed jam off an E.J. Liddell lob before Wesson returned the favor by dishing to Liddell after tracking down an errant pass. Wesson's crosscourt assist to Carton for a 3 gave Ohio State its 13-point halftime lead. Ohio State went on a 21-9 run to open the second half.
Ohio State had five players in double figures on Sunday against overmatched UMass-Lowell, led by Carton and Wesson with 13 points each.
Wesson also had 13 rebounds and five assists. Luther Muhammad added 11 points, while Alonzo Gaffney and Kyle Young each added 10.
The Buckeyes played without senior forward Andre Wesson, who suffered an eye injury in the team's win over Cincinnati on Wednesday night.
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His brother, Kaleb Wesson, already had a double-double by halftime. He had tallied 11 points, 11 rebounds and four assists as the Buckeyes built a 38-25 halftime lead.
Obadiah Noel led UMass-Lowell (1-2) with 15 points, and Connor Withers had 10.
"I give our guys credit," Holtmann said. "I thought they attacked our defensive game plan with good urgency."
Illinois State 75, Little Rock 70
NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Zach Copeland sank three 3-pointers and scored 19 points as Illinois State held off Arkansas-Little Rock 75-70 on Sunday.
Dedric Boyd had 14 points off the bench, hitting 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, for the Redbirds. Illinois State is 2-0 for the first time in seven years. Rey Idowu and Jaycee Hillsman pitched in with 12 points apiece.
Markquis Nowell had 28 points for the Trojans (1-1), hitting 10 of 21 shots with four 3-pointers.
Oakland 61, Southern Illinois 52
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Daniel Oladapo scored 23 points, Brad Brechting had a double-double, and Oakland beat Southern Illinois 61-52 in the Sunshine Slam on Sunday.
Brechting had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Oakland (3-1). Tray Maddox Jr. added 11 points and seven rebounds. Kevin Kangu had nine assists for the Golden Grizzlies. Oladapo hit 10 of 13 shots.
Aaron Cook had 16 points and seven steals for the Salukis (2-2). Barret Benson added 16 points. Marcus Domask had 11 points.