Ohio State cruises in NCAA tourney opener
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - William Buford tallied 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, as the Ohio State Buckeyes dominated the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, 75-46, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Jon Diebler made four three-pointers en route to 14 points for the Buckeyes (33-2), who are the top overall seed in the tourney.
Deshaun Thomas donated 13 points and eight boards off the bench for Ohio State, which got 11 points and nine rebounds from Jared Sullinger.
"I think just to get that first game under our belt was big for us," Diebler said. "Obviously we weren't happy with the way we started, but it was kind of a weird game, like Coach said. But, honestly, we haven't really been paying attention to what people are saying. Obviously with the 1 versus 16 seed, Coach never really mentioned it to us. And what Will said, we're here on business. And I think we're going to stay focused."
The Buckeyes, the No. 1 seed in the East Region, will next take on eighth- seeded George Mason on Sunday.
Devin Gibson finished with 24 points and four steals for the Roadrunners (20-14), who were coming off the program's first NCAA Tournament win -- a 70-61 decision over Alabama State on Wednesday.
Texas-San Antonio was making its fourth all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
The Roadrunners held a 9-5 edge early on, but it didn't take long for Ohio State to take over. The Buckeyes used an 18-4 run to create some distance. Diebler and Buford each made a pair of three-pointers during the burst to give Ohio State a 23-13 margin with 8 1/2 minutes to go.
Holding a 25-17 lead, the Buckeyes put together an 11-0 surge. Diebler capped the flurry with a three-pointer to make it a 36-17 game.
Ohio State shot 62.5 percent from the field in the first half en route to a 37-21 margin.
Gibson made a layup and three-pointer to start the second half, cutting the Roadrunners' deficit to 37-26. Ohio State, though, scored the next nine points to build a 20-point cushion.
The Big Ten champions led by as many as 38 in the second half.
This was the first-ever meeting between Texas-San Antonio and Ohio State on the hardwood...The Buckeyes are making their 23rd appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Overall, Ohio State has a 40-21 record all-time in NCAA tourney play. The Buckeyes have advanced to play in nine Final Fours, have finished as the runner up four times (1939, 1961, 1962, 2007) and own one title (1960)...The Buckeyes' 29 regular season victories set a new school record...UTSA captured its third Southland Conference Tournament title and fourth overall league tourney crown with a 75-72 victory over McNeese State on March 12th...Ohio State shot 55.8 percent from the field, while Texas-San Antonio made 34 percent of its shots....The Buckeyes went 12-of-24 from beyond the arc.
03/18 20:14:06 ET