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Behind huge first half from Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State paces past Northeastern, 80-55

Tate set a career high for scoring, while Keita Bates-Diop scored in double figures.

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

The Chris Holtmann era is off to a running start, as the Ohio State Buckeyes won their latest contest against the Northeastern Huskies, 80-55.

With 10,779 in attendance, those spectators witnessed the Scarlet and Gray get out to a 4-0 to start to the season, courtesy of a strong first half performance from the leaders on the team.

Jae’Sean Tate made all 10 of his shots, and set a career high in scoring with 24 points. Keita Bates-Diop wasn’t too far behind Tate in the scoring category, ending the game with 19 points. Bates-Diop didn’t reach a double-double mark this time around, but he ended with seven rebounds—enough to lead the team.

While those two flashed their scoring prowess, they weren’t the only ones to hit double figures. C.J. Jackson also eclipsed the double-digit scoring mark with 10 points. Additionally, Jackson put three assists and three rebounds on the stat sheet, the same amount as Tate.

As a team, Ohio State shot 50 percent from the field, making 28 of their 56 shots; from three-point range, the Buckeyes weren’t as successful, making just 20 percent of their shots from beyond the arc (3-of-15).

Northeastern made 36 percent of the shots, ending the game 20-of-56 from the field. Combined with 16 turnovers, the Huskies were doomed. Ohio State converted those turnovers for 22 points.

Another place where the Scarlet and Gray dominated in was in the paint. Over half (48) of the Buckeyes’ points came from that region.

Tate played a huge role in getting the Buckeyes out front early, as he was responsible for 11 of the first 13 points, and opened up the game with 5-of-5 shooting. It took only 39 seconds for Tate to score on his first shot (a layup). To get that shot, Keita Bates-Diop stole the ball away from guard Devon Begley.

Northeastern answered back around a minute later to even the score at 2-2, but Tate buried a jumper 20 seconds after the Huskies knotted the game. Being tied at 2-2 would be the closest Northeastern would be to leading Ohio State. Tate’s second shot opened up a 13-0 scoring run for the Buckeyes, and by the 13:55 mark in the first half, the Scarlet and Gray held a 15-2 lead.

Donnell Gresham pulled the Huskies to within 10 after hitting a pair of free throws and a three-pointer. For the first half, Gresham led his team with 11 points, with nine of those coming off three-point shots.

At the 9:50 mark of the first half, OSU was about to show their breakaway ability. A Bates-Diop make and Kaleb Wesson dunk ignited another Buckeye scoring spree. This time around, Holtmann’s crew scored 15 unanswered points—which was broken up by a Gresham three.

With a 36-12 lead at the 5:12 mark in the half, OSU continued to score points via free throws. Wesson, Bates-Diop and C.J. Jackson chipped in late with their freebie makes. By halftime, the Buckeyes lead was out to 47-17.

Ohio State shot 63 percent from the field in the first half on 17-of-27 shooting from the field. In comparison, Northeastern made just 6 of their 28 shots (21 percent).

Tate and Bates-Diop were tied for most points scored in the half at 15. Bates-Diop led the rebounding front with four; Andrew Dakich had the most assists in the half with three.

In the second half, turnovers continued to plague the Huskies. In the first five minutes after the break, they committed three turnovers—with one of them leading to another Tate basket.

At this point, Tate swished on his first eight shots, and continued that trend to after the first media timeout.

Another Huskies’ scoring drought—this one lasting a little more than three minutes—kept them from chipping into OSU’s lead. Ohio State went back to having a 30-point plus lead on the visitors at the 13-minute mark of the half.

But, at the halfway point, the Huskies got their offense going, hitting five shots within seven attempts. Combine that with the Buckeyes going on a three-minute scoring drought and missing five straight shots, and the visitors were able to close the gap to 63-37.

For about a five-minute stretch, Northeastern played their best basketball. However, with such a deep deficit, it wasn’t even enough to get within 15 points of Ohio State’s lead.

Up next for Ohio State will be the national runner-ups, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The teams will tip off in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 24 at 12:30 a.m.

The Buckeyes-Bulldogs contest will be broadcast on ESPN2, and is part of the PK80-Phil Knight invitational.