Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. each supplied 18 points to lead No. 3 Ohio State to a 79-62 victory over North Dakota State on Saturday as part of the Gotham Classic from Value City Arena.
Sam Thompson and Marc Loving netted 12 points apiece for the Buckeyes (10-0), who have won all 10 games by double digits.
Aaron Craft contributed six points and seven assists to move his career assist total to 581, surpassing Jamar Butler (579) for the most career helpers in Ohio State history.
Tyler Braun paced the Bison (7-4) with a game-high 21 points, while Marshall Bjorklund donated 12 points for North Dakota State, which had won five straight.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 13-5 lead just over six minutes in behind eight early points from Smith.
A 7-0 surge from the Bison brought them within 31-26 with 2:55 left in the first half, but Ross and Thompson combined to close the frame on a 10-2 run, giving the Buckeyes a 41-28 edge at the break.
NDSU failed to cut into the deficit in the second half and trailed 55-41 just prior to the midpoint of the frame before OSU used a 12-2 spurt that Craft capped with a jumper to create a 67-43 spread with 7:41 to play.
The Bison never got closer than 17 points the rest of the way.
It was the first-ever meeting between the schools on the hardwood ... OSU shot 52.9 percent (27-of-51) from the floor, including a 10-of-20 mark from 3-point range ... NDSU shot 29.4 percent (5-of-17) from distance ... The Buckeyes recorded 16 assists, compared to just eight for the Bison.