Deshaun Thomas scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and No. 4 Ohio State beat Rhode Island 69-58 in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament in Connecticut on Saturday.
Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 15 points, Aaron Craft had 13 points and four assists for the Buckeyes (2-0) who struggled with the Rams (0-3) well into the second half.
Xavier Munford had 16 points to lead Rhode Island, which trailed by just four at halftime.
The Rams were down just six when Craft hit a 3-point shot that bounced around the rim and in with 6:45 left and then stole the ball on the other end of the court.
That led to a technical foul on Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley.
Thomas hit both free throws and the five-point swing gave Ohio State a 55-44 edge, its first double-digit lead of the game, and the Buckeyes held on from there.