Craft paces No. 4 Ohio State past Albany
Columbus, OH – Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. combined for 57 points, as No. 4 Ohio State cruised to a season- opening 82-60 victory over Albany at Value City Arena.
Craft finished with 20 points and seven assists, Thomas added 19 points and Smith netted 18 for the Buckeyes (1-0), who shot 57 percent from the field and 12-of-20 from three-point range to win going away.
Ohio State's scheduled opener against Marquette on Friday aboard the U.S.S. Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, SC was canceled due to condensation on the court.
"The guys were itching to play a game," Ohio State head coach Thad Matta said.
Mike Black paced Albany (1-1) with 20 points.
The Great Danes, who opened the season with a 69-66 win over Duquesne on Friday, hung tough for the first 15 minutes and were ahead, 23-22, before Thomas took over.
The junior forward, one of three returning starters from last season's Final Four squad, scored nine points in a three-possession span late in the first half, hitting two from behind the arc around a three-point play the conventional way.
His second 3-pointer gave the Buckeyes a 32-23 lead, and Smith's late three resulted in a 39-25 halftime cushion.
Thomas and Craft each hit from long range early in the second half, and Smith's bucket yielded a 47-27 lead less than three minutes in.
The closest Albany got from there was 15.
"When we face a team like Ohio State, we have very little room for error. Ultimately, we couldn't knock down enough shots," Albany head coach Will Brown said.
The was the first-ever meeting between the programs ... Ohio State improved to 92-18 in home openers, including 10 straight wins under Matta ... The Buckeyes scored 18 more points in the paint (34-16).