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Four Buckeyes in double-digits propel Ohio State past Texas Southern, 82-64

The Buckeyes move to 3-0 on the season.

NCAA Basketball: Robert Morris at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes men’s basketball team continued their early season run with a win over Texas Southern Thursday night, moving to 3-0 and keeping an unbeaten record for first-year head coach Chris Holtmann.

Jae’Sean Tate, Keita Bates-Diop and Micah Potter all scored 17 points, with freshman Musa Jallow adding 13, to give the Buckeyes their third-straight win to open the season. Ohio State finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field, including 32 percent from three-point range. Bates-Diop also led the Buckeyes in rebounding, pulling down a dozen on the night to earn his third-straight double-double.

With the win, the Buckeyes move to 7-0 against teams from the SWAC.

Here’s a recap of the win.

After winning the opening tip, Texas Southern, who was playing without their top-scorer, sophomore guard Demontrae Jefferson, opened up scoring on a quick alley-oop from junior center Trayvon Reed. But after a foul, Ohio State tied things back up from the free throw line. Texas Southern bounced right back with a three-point shot from senior guard Donte Clark.

Jae’Sean Tate quickly hit a two, and a three-point shot by Keita Bates-Diop gave the Buckeyes their first lead of the night.

Things remained 7-7 for a while, until Tate made a layup to put the Buckeyes up two. A three-pointer from Robert Lewis gave the Tigers a one-point lead. Freshman guard Musa Jallow, who earned his first start tonight, answered with a three of his own from the corner to swing things back in favor of Ohio State 12-10--a lead they would not relinquish the entire game. Bates-Diop then split defenders down low for a two-pointer to put the Buckeyes up four. In under eight minutes, the junior forward scored five points, pulled down five rebounds and had one block to dominate Ohio State’s early run as the Tigers were held scoreless for more than five minutes.

Texas Southern, meanwhile, got into foul trouble early, committing six team fouls in the first eight minutes, forcing the Tigers to put two starters on the bench. The Tigers also committed a number of turnovers during their scoring drought which helped pad the Buckeyes’ lead.

Jallow hit his second three of the game midway through the half to put the Buckeyes up seven before junior guard Derrick Bruce broke the Tigers’ five-minute scoring drought. After a foul, Bruce went 2-for-2 from the line to pull the Tigers within two. After a missed three, Jallow moved inside to grab the rebound and dunk to put the Buckeyes up 19-15. Tate then hit a quick two on an assist from junior guard C.J. Jackson before Jackson himself added a three of his own to stretch the Buckeyes’ lead to nine. The Buckeyes continued their run until senior forward Lamont Walker broke the 11-point run by the Buckeyes with a two-pointer with just over five minutes remaining in the half.

A quick two by sophomore center Micah Potter helped to rebound the offense in favor of Ohio State. Kam Williams, who came off the bench, hit his first three of the game to put the Buckeyes up 16. Guard Andrew Dakich, grad transfer from Michigan, hit five quick points as the Buckeyes traded points with the Tigers.

After a series of fouls late in the half, Texas Southern began to chip into the Buckeyes’ lead, narrowing Ohio State’s lead to 11. But a foul by the Tigers on Potter gave the Buckeyes two free throws and a 13-point advantage heading into halftime.

Despite starting off slow, shooting 4-of-12 from the floor, the Buckeyes finished the first half shooting 46 percent as the offense settled in against the Tigers’ zone defense. Ohio State also hit three three-pointers, led by Jallow, who had 10 first-half points. Clark led Texas Southern in scoring with nine points and five rebounds.

Texas Southern shot under 30 percent during the first half. The Tigers made up for it with perfect, 10-for-10 shooting from the free throw line, and wound up being out-fouled by Ohio State by a 10-8 mark. Ohio State out-rebounded the Tigers 22-16, including seven offensive rebounds. Bates-Diop led in the category, with seven first-half rebounds. Ohio State also led the first half with nine assists to the Tigers’ four.

Texas Southern opened the second half with a block of Tate, following the next possession with a dunk by Bruce. The teams traded points before Bates-Diop hit a three-point jumper to put the Buckeyes back up 14 early in the second half. After a 7-0 run by Ohio State, Reed managed two dunks to bring the score to 51-37. Sophomore Andre Wesson hit his first points of the game six minutes into the half on an offensive rebound, but committed a foul giving Clark two free throws on the next possession.

More fouls and free throws and, finally, a layup by senior forward Kevin Scott, who had been held scoreless in the first half, pulled the Tigers within nine as Texas Southern held an 8-0 run. Bates-Diop, who hadn’t had a touch in several minutes, finally hit a three-pointer to end the drought. Lewis answered with a three of his own to narrow the lead back to nine. Five points by Clark brought the Tigers within four before Tate slowed things down with a dunk, assisted by Jackson.

However, a three by Lewis pulled the Tigers within two, bringing the score to 59-57. In a quick transition, Tate found Potter for two points. A block by Jallow on the subsequent possession gave the Buckeyes the ball again with a quick-score opportunity. A foul by Lewis gave two free throws to Potter to give the Buckeyes some breathing room, up six. Bates-Diop and Jackson, after two defensive stops, each scored to bring the Ohio State lead to double digits. An 11-0 run by the Buckeyes helped to seal the deal for the win late in the second half.

Donte Clark led the Tigers in scoring and rebounds with 17 points and 7 rebounds on the night.

Up next, the Buckeyes face the 2-0 Northeastern Huskies Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.