Ross scores 23 in OSU win

RUSTY MILLER AP Sports Writer Published:

COLUMBUS (AP) -- For the first four games of the season, just about everybody was playing well for Ohio State except LaQuinton Ross.

On Saturday, he was one of the few Buckeyes who had a good game -- and it made a world of difference.

Ross scored four of his career-high 23 points in a 10-0 second-half run, leading No. 5 Ohio State past Central Connecticut State 74-56.

"I knew I was going to come around eventually," Ross said after hitting 9 of 13 shots from the field and adding six rebounds and an assist. "I've been playing basketball all my life. Everybody goes through situations, struggles, out there on the court. It was just something I had to get through. I knew I would get through it eventually."

After shooting 22 percent from the field at the start of the season, Ross is shooting 63 percent over his last three games.

On a day when the Buckeyes (8-0) were lethargic at both ends, his shooting kept them in the lead and eventually put the game out of reach.

"Our mindset wasn't right," said Lenzelle Smith, who scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half. "It was just us. We weren't ready to play when we came out of the tunnel."

The Blue Devils (2-6) certainly were. Their 3-2 zone befuddled the Buckeyes. They got back quickly to snuff Ohio State's transition game. And they took their time on offense, working for good shots while shooting 46 percent for the game.

"We came in here knowing Ohio State is as good as any team in the country," coach Howie Dickenman said. "We wanted to gain some respect; I thought we gained some respect."

The Buckeyes had won the only previous meeting between the teams in the first round of the 2007 NCAA tournament. The top-ranked Buckeyes, behind Greg Oden's 19 points and 10 rebounds, beat the Blue Devils 78-57. Ohio State would advance to the national championship game, losing to defending champion Florida.

The Blue Devils scored six of the last eight points in the first half to cut a 14-point deficit to 38-29.

"It was sarcasm and angry at the same time," Ross said of coach Thad Matta's halftime talk in the locker room. "He tried to keep cool because he feels like we're a veteran team and some of the mistakes we were making we shouldn't have made. I know for a fact he was upset. I think the whole team knew it."

TOP 25

No. 2 ARIZONA 63, UNLV 58

TUCSON, Ariz. -- T.J. McConnell had 13 points, six assists and seven rebounds, making critical plays down the stretch, and No. 2 Arizona escaped with a 63-58 victory over UNLV.

COLORADO 75, No. 6 KANSAS 72

BOULDER, Colo. -- Askia Booker brought Colorado fans spilling onto the court by swishing a 25-footer at the buzzer to lift Colorado to a victory over No. 6 Kansas.

No. 7 LOUISVILLE 113,

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 74

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Montrezl Harrell scored 20 points and No. 7 Louisville used good shooting to blow out Louisiana-Lafayette, 113-74.

No. 8 WISCONSIN 70, MARQUETTE 64

MADISON, Wis. -- Sam Dekker had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 8 Wisconsin withstood a late Marquette rally for a 70-64 victory that snapped its two-game losing streak in the intrastate rivalry.

No. 14 VILLANOVA 98, ST. JOSEPH'S 68

PHILADELPHIA -- James Bell had 25 points and 14 rebounds and JayVaughn Pinkston scored 27 points, keeping No. 14 Villanova unbeaten with a 98-68 win over Saint Joseph's.

No. 16 MEMPHIS 96, NORTHWESTERN ST. 76

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shaq Goodwin scored a career-high 21 points, Memphis 54 percent for the game and the No. 16 Tigers defeated Northwestern State, 96-76.

Goodwin was 8 of 11 from the field for Memphis (6-1). Joe Jackson scored 18 points with five assists and Michael Dixon Jr. finished with 14 points, connecting on 6 of 9 from the field.

No. 17 IOWA STATE 91, NORTHERN IOWA 82

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Melvin Eim scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half and overtime, and 17th-ranked Iowa State rallied from 18 points down to beat Northern Iowa 91-82 on Saturday for its best start in 10 years.

MISSOURI 80, No. 18 UCLA 71

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Jabari Brown scored 22 points and Jordan Clarkson added 21 to help Missouri upset No. 18 UCLA, 80-71.

No. 21 UMASS 105, BYU 96

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Chaz Williams had career highs of 32 points and 15 assists, and Sampson Carter scored 20 for No. 21 Massachusetts to lead the Minutemen to a victory over Brigham Young.

No. 22 MICH. 107, HOUSTON BAPTIST 53

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Nik Stauskas scored 17 of his 25 points in the first half, and No. 22 Michigan overwhelmed Houston Baptist 107-53, reaching its highest point total in over 15 years. The Wolverines ended up tying a school record for 3-pointers with 16.

BIG TEN

MINNESOTA 80, NEW ORLEANS 65

MINNEAPOLIS -- Andre Hollins led six Golden Gophers in double figures with 18 points as Minnesota defeated New Orleans, 80-65.

PURDUE 69, E. MICHIGAN 64

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Bryson Scott made his first career start and had 16 points and five assists to lead the Purdue Boilermakers to a 69-64 victory over the Eastern Michigan Eagles.

PENN STATE 90, MARSHALL 77

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Ross Travis scored 20 points and Donovan Jack's 18 points, seven blocked shots and seven rebounds enabled Penn State to race past Marshall, 90-77.

NORTHWESTERN 51, W. MICHIGAN 35

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Drew Crawford scored 15 points and had 9 rebounds to lead Northwestern to a 51-35 victory over Western Michigan.

MAC

TOLEDO 80, ROBERT MORRIS 77

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Rian Pearson scored 19 points and Justin Drummond and Julius Brown each had 16 as Toledo edged Robert Morris 80-77 to remain undefeated.

Drummond hit four free throws for Toledo (8-0) in the game's final minute, including two with 25 seconds remaining to extend the Rockets' lead to 80-77.

EVANSVILLE 78, MIAMI (OH) 65

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- D.J. Balentine scored 22 points, leading four players in double digits, as Evansville posted a victory over Miami (OH).

XAVIER 85, BOWLING GREEN 73

CINCINNATI -- Myles Davis sank two overtime 3-pointers as the Xavier Musketeers snapped a three-game losing streak with 85-73 win over Bowling Green.

BUFFALO 78, ST. BONAVENTURE 73

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jarryn Skeete and Shannon Evans each scored 17 points to lead Buffalo to a 78-73 victory over St. Bonaventure.

AKRON 73, CLEVELAND ST. 61

CLEVELAND -- Reggie McAdams and Nyles Evans combined for some hot 3-point shooting as Akron breezed past Cleveland State, 73-61.

OAKLAND 73, OHIO 56

ROCHESTER, Mich. -- Duke Mondy and Kahlil Felder scored 13 apiece to lead six Oakland players in double figures in a 73-56 victory over Ohio.

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