Columbus, OH – Deshaun Thomas scored 21 of his game-high 22 points in the first half as No. 7 Ohio State smothered Savannah State, 85-45, on Wednesday at Value City Arena.
Thomas, who added seven rebounds in the victory, outscored the Tigers by himself over the opening 20 minutes to help the Buckeyes (7-1) win their 37th consecutive non-conference contest.
"In the past couple games, the 3's weren't going in," Thomas said. "It feels good to get in the rhythm, hit those open shots, and knock them down to help my team."
LaQuinton Ross chipped in 13 points and nine boards off the bench in the triumph, Ohio State's third in a row since suffering its lone loss of the season to No. 2 Duke on Nov. 28.
Arnold Louis led Savannah State (5-5) with 14 points and Rashad Hassan added nine points for the Tigers, who have lost two straight.
"We should've played better on the defensive end and that is where I am going to grade my team," Savannah State coach Horace Broadnax remarked.
Hassan's layup less than 30 seconds into the game gave the Tigers a 2-0 edge, but the Buckeyes netted 14 of the next 16 points to grab a 10-point lead just over seven minutes into the contest.
With the margin at 10 nearly three minutes later, Thomas knocked down back-to- back 3-pointers, extending the margin to 23-7 with under nine minutes left in first half.
The junior forward continued to pour it on late in the frame, as he netted nine straight Ohio State points before Shannon Scott's triple with under 10 seconds remaining sent the Buckeyes into the locker room holding a 42-18 advantage.
The lead never dipped below 19 and peaked at 42 in the second half as the Buckeyes cruised to the victory over the final 20 minutes.
It was the first-ever meeting between these schools ... Ohio State improved to 16-0 against teams from the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference ... The Tigers shot 37 percent (20-of-54) from the field, while the Buckeyes shot 47.5 percent (28-of-59) from the floor.