Oden leads Ohio St. to first-round rout
Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Freshman sensation center Greg Oden scored 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, as Ohio State rolled into the second-round of the NCAA Tournament with a 78-57 victory over Central Connecticut State.
Jamar Butler added 17 points, going 5-of-6 from beyond the arc for the top- seeded Buckeyes (31-3), who moved on to face either eighth-seeded BYU or ninth-seeded Xavier in the South Region on Saturday.
Ron Lewis tallied 13 points for the Big Ten champions, who showed their dominance early by scoring the opening eight points, on the way to an 18th consecutive victory. Ohio State ended 11-of-20 from three-point range.
Javier Mojica scored 19 points for the Blue Devils (22-12), who were Northeast Conference regular season and tournament champions. Joe Seymore and Tristan Blackwood each had 12 points, while Jemino Sobers finished with 10 for CCSU.
Butler drained a pair of threes and Oden's tip-in made it 8-0 just over three minutes into the game before Seymore hit a three-pointer for CCSU. However, the Buckeyes continued the sharp shooting, with Lewis hitting consecutive three-pointers before Butler nailed another for a 17-3 margin.
Ohio State was never threatened in the opening half, which ended with a three- pointer from Daequan Cook, bringing the Buckeyes to a 38-17 cushion going into the locker room.
The Buckeyes didn't give the Blue Devils much hope of an upset in the final 20 minutes, sustaining a double-digit advantage until the final buzzer. Butler drained a pair of threes in just over a minute span to widen the margin to 46-22.
A Seymore three had CCSU within 57-41 midway through the half, but an Oden free throw and another long distance shot from Lewis stemmed the tide. A three by Ivan Harris moved the advantage to 76-51 with just over two minutes remaining.
The Blue Devils had won 16 of their last 17 games. They are 0-3 in the NCAA Tournament...Ohio State's last loss was January 9 on the road versus Wisconsin.
03/15 21:20:13 ET