Hornsby had five early points as the Bulldogs trailed 11-7 in the opening few minutes. Then Thomas hit a 3, Smith slashed through the heart of the defense for a layup and Thompson dunked off a fast break pass from Shannon Scott to make it 18-8.
The lead remained near double figures until Ravenel muscled in a shot inside and then hit a 12-foot jumper to make it 40-27.
With the game still played at a fast pace, the Buckeyes pulled away in the early stages of the second half.
Thompson scored seven points as Ohio State ripped off 15 of the first 18 points in the opening minutes to widen the advantage to 65-38. The Bulldogs never pulled close again.
The loudest cheer of the day came with 6:44 left when Thompson took a long pass behind the defense and threw down a windmill dunk that brought the Ohio State bench to its feet.
“I just wanted to do something to get some energy in the gym, pick our guys up and pick the crowd up,” said the high-flying wing, who some have called “Slam” Thompson.
Thanks to all of those layups, the Buckeyes shot 59 percent from the field (36 of 61).
Hornsby, with his father watching from behind the Asheville bench, hit 9 of 12 shots from the field including 6 of 8 3-pointers, made both of his free throws and added five rebounds and an assist. Will Weeks added 14 points and Jeremy Atkinson 11.
“I was able to get some shots to go down and had a lot of help from my teammates to help me get open,” Hornsby said.
Hornsby’s previous career high was 23 earlier this season against another top team, North Carolina State. The Bulldogs hung around in that big intrastate showdown before falling 82-80 on Nov. 23.
“Obviously we didn’t do a good enough job of getting our guys to guard him because he’s much more athletic than most people think,” Matta said. “As a sophomore to come in and do what he did, that was quite a performance.”
Despite Hornsby’s big day, the Buckeyes were pleased with how things turned out. They know they’ll have to run to score in a difficult Big Ten that includes several athletic teams.
“I really like this style and I think it fits well for this team,” Smith said. “We got a lot of open looks just by running and playing naturally. We have a lot of athletes on this team. Just getting out and going allows us to be at the top of our game.”
Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap
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