Columbus, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Lenzelle Smith Jr. and LaQuinton Ross scored 18 points apiece as No. 3 Ohio State defeated North Dakota State University, 79-62, in Saturday’s BlackRock Gotham Classic showdown at Value City Arena.
Smith also grabbed eight boards and combined with Ross for six triples while Sam Thompson and Mark Loving added 12 points each for the Buckeyes, who are 10-0 for the second time in four years.
Amir Williams grabbed eight boards while Aaron Craft issued seven dimes for the Bobcats, who made 27 of 51 shots for an amazing 52.9 percent, including 10-for-20 from beyond the arc.
With the win, Ohio State now has won 76 consecutive home games against unranked opponents, 49 consecutive against unranked nonconference opponents. The Buckeyes’ last loss was Dec. 27, 2008 against West Virginia.
Taylor Braun scored 21 points while Marshall Bjorklund chipped in 12 for the Bison (7-4), who were outrebounded by the Buckeyes, 36-26.
Ross scored 13 points while Smith added 10 as Ohio State slowly built its lead in the first half. The Buckeyes ended the half with a 10-2 run to take a 41-28 lead at the break.
In the second half, Loving buried back-to-back triples to give the Buckeyes a 65-43 edge with 8:48 left.
A triple by Amedeo Della Valle gave the Buckeyes their biggest lead, 72-45, with 5:52 remaining in the game.