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(Saturday, December 8th)
Final Score: (7) Ohio State 89, Long Beach State 55
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Deshaun Thomas poured in a game-high 18 points on Saturday, as No. 7 Ohio State cruised to an 89-55 victory over Long Beach State at Value City Arena.
LaQuinton Ross added 16 points and nine rebounds off the bench, while Lenzelle Smith Jr. donated 14 points and nine boards for the Buckeyes (6-1), who have won 36 consecutive non-conference games in Columbus.
"We passed the ball really well and different guys stepped up to hit shots," Thomas remarked.
Dan Jennings led Long Beach State (3-6) with 16 points and eight rebounds, and James Ennis chipped in 12 points in the setback, the 49ers' third in a row.
"It's a work in progress and we've got a long way to go," Long Beach State coach Dan Monson admitted. "Ohio State is a very good basketball team."
Long Beach State kept it close early on and trailed by just three, 16-13, 9 1/2 minutes into the contest, but the 49ers went the next four-plus minutes without a bucket as the Buckeyes created some distance.
Thomas sparked the surge with a 3-pointer before Ross capped it with four straight points, including a step-back jumper to give Ohio State a 25-13 advantage with 7:47 left in the half.
Kris Gulley halted the 49ers' drought with a triple to cut the margin to nine with 6:10 remaining in the first before a Peter Pappageorge trey from the corner brought the visitors within 27-21 just over a minute later.
The margin was eight with less than two minutes left in the half after a pair of free throws from Mike Caffey, but the Buckeyes netted the final six points of the frame to take a 39-25 advantage into the locker room.
Ohio State continued its surge in the second, scoring the first six points of the stanza to grab a 20-point lead less than two minutes in.
Shannon Scott and Amedeo Della Valle buried back-to-back triples later in the frame to spark a 17-2 Ohio State surge that gave the Buckeyes a commanding 79-37 advantage with just under nine minutes left in the contest.
The Buckeyes cruised the rest of the way en route to the wire-to-wire victory.
Ohio State won the only previous meeting between these two squads, that being a 93-86 decision during the 1987 Lobo Classic in Albuquerque, New Mexico ... The Buckeyes improved to 74-2 in Columbus against non-conference opponents under head coach Thad Matta ... The 49ers shot 31.1 percent (19-of-61) from the field.
12/08 16:36:41 ET