Ohio State routs Rutgers
COLUMBUS — C.J. Jackson scored 18 points to help No. 16 Ohio State rout Rutgers 79-52 on Tuesday night.
Kaleb Wesson added 14, and Kam Williams, playing his last home game, had 13 as the Buckeyes (23-7, 14-3 Big Ten) got a feel-good win on senior night, coming on the heels of tough road losses to Penn State and Michigan that dropped them out of first place in the conference.
Corey Sanders had 12 points for the Scarlet Knights (13-17, 3-14). They’ve lost eight of their last nine games.
Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State’s best player who missed most of last season to a leg injury, continued to struggle with his shooting. After starting the month as the likely candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year, he has had trouble scoring against more aggressive defenses. He had just six points against Rutgers on 3-for-11 shooting.
Bates-Diop has a year of eligibility remaining but likely will leave for the NBA. He graduated from Ohio State in December.
Jae’Sean Tate, also playing his last game at Value City Arena, had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Ohio State led 32-27 at the half. The Buckeyes had built a 19-point lead coming off an 11-0 run with 5:41 left in the half but then went cold.
Rutgers put together a 16-2 run to finish the half, during which Ohio State went 1 for 8 from the floor.
But Rutgers, one of the nation’s worst offensive teams, opened the second half 1 for 8, and Ohio State took control with an 18-2 run.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights took advantage of a period of cold shooting by Ohio State but just didn’t have the talent to keep it up in the second half.
Ohio State: Buckeyes did what was expected against a poor team after dropping two on the road. They will need some help to win the regular-season conference title, but they’ve been one of the college basketball’s best stories this season.
Rutgers: Finishes regular season Sunday at Illinois.
Ohio State: Finishes Friday at Indiana.