Saturday’s Big Ten roundup: No. 21 Ohio State rolls
Columbus, Ohio — D’Angelo Russell is not exactly certain who’s in the Big Ten. He just knows that he’s excited about finally finding out.
Russell scored 24 points on a stellar shooting night and Amir Williams added a career-high 21 to lead No. 21 Ohio State past Wright State 100-55 on Saturday.
The Buckeyes (11-2) begin Big Ten by hosting Iowa on Tuesday.
“Last year was probably (the first time) I figured out what teams were in the SEC, what teams were in the Big Ten, what teams were in the ACC,” said Russell, a freshman from Louisville. “But I’m just looking forward to it. I’ve heard there’s nothing like it.”
Russell was 7 of 8 from the field, including 6 for 6 behind the arc, and 4 of 5 on free throws against overmatched Wright State, which didn’t start anyone over 6-foot-7. That caught the attention of the Buckeyes, who consistently went to the 6-11 Williams, whose previous best was 18 points a year ago.
“Amir Williams is not the second option right now for Ohio State,” said Wright State coach Billy Donlon. “But right away they immediately recognized the starting lineup and they went right to town.”
It was clear the Buckeyes wanted to light a fire under their starter in the post.
“The guy guarding me wasn’t as tall as I was, so D’Angelo saw the mismatch right away and he gave me a couple of easy post feeds and we played off of that,” Williams said. “Coach (Thad Matta) was also saying that after this game stuff gets real in the Big Ten. So we have to be able to establish ourselves (inside) because we know how it’s going to be for these next 18 games.”
Kam Williams added 15 and Marc Loving 13 points for Ohio State, which shot 61 percent from the field and never looked back after breaking out to a 10-0 lead — with Williams scoring the first five.
Matta is pleased with his team heading into the Big Ten.
“I like the way we’re playing right now in terms of being unselfish and taking care of the ball,” he said. “I like where we are.”
Grant Benzinger had 12 points for Wright State (8-6), which has lost two in a row after a four-game winning streak.
Georgetown 91, Indiana 87 (OT): D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored seven of his 29 points in overtime, leading Georgetown to a victory over Indiana in the Indeed Invitational at Madison Square Garden.
The Hoyas used a big second half run to catch the long-range shooting Hoosiers (10-3) but wasted a late five-point lead and needed overtime for a spirited victory over another top program trying to move back into the Associated Press Top 25.
Trailing 74-69 with 1:27 to, Yogi Ferrell scored Indiana’s final eight points, including two 3-pointers to tie it a 77. Hanner Mosquera-Perea blocked Georgetown freshman L.J. Peak’s layup attempt with about two seconds to go to send it to overtime.
Georgetown (8-3) center Joshua Smith, who fought foul trouble all game, made a jumper to open overtime and the Hoyas never trailed.
(At) Northwestern 76, Northern Kentucky 55: Tre Demps tied a career-high with 23 points as Bryant McIntosh added 15 points and Scottie Lindsey had 12 for Northwestern (9-4) in its final nonconference game before beginning Big Ten action Tuesday.
The Wildcats have won three straight and four of five.
Todd Johnson scored 14 points for Northern Kentucky (6-7). The Norse fell to 0-3 against Big Ten teams this season.
(At) Illinois 93, Kennesaw State 45: Rayvonte Rice scored 21 points and Illinois cruised past Kennesaw State in a final tune-up before Big Ten play.
Malcolm Hill chipped in 16 points and nine rebounds for Illinois (10-3), while Aaron Cosby added 13 points.
Yonel Brown and Damien Wilson each scored 10 points to lead Kennesaw State (4-10). Wilson also grabbed 11 rebounds.
(At) Minnesota 108, UNC Wilmington 82: Carlos Morris scored a career-high 24 points, hitting 8 of 15 shots and all seven of his free throws as the Gophers (11-2) overcame an early nine-point deficit to win going away.
Nate Mason had 18 points, Mo Walker added 17 and DeAndre Mathieu 13 with four steals and a career-best 11 assists. Charles Buggs hit three 3-pointers and scored 13 for Minnesota.
Freddie Jackson led UNCW (5-5) with 21 points, while Craig Ponder and Addison Spruill each scored 12 and Malik Pugh added 10.