- Associated Press - Saturday, December 3, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Marc Loving scored 18 points and Kam Williams added 17 more to lift Ohio State to a 70-62 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday.

Jae’Sean Tate and Trevor Thompson each had double-doubles for OSU (7-1), combining for 22 points and 25 rebounds. Williams, getting his fifth straight start for the injured Keita Bates-Diop, shot 7 for 13 from the field, hitting 3 of 6 from long range.

Fairleigh Dickinson (2-5) trailed by just one point heading into halftime, and even had as much as a six-point lead in the first half. OSU opened the second half with an 18-2 run to stretch its advantage to 51-34 with 14:34 to go.

Thompson started the second half instead of freshman center Micah Potter, which made an immediate impact. However, following that run, the Knights continued to chip into the lead without changing much of their game plan.

In the final minutes, FDU cut the deficit to just six points before OSU’s JaQuan Lyle iced the game with two free throws.

“Initially, defensively, we were good . but we didn’t finish possessions,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “Even some of the shots they missed were wide open. That’s just a sign of we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be.”

Darian Anderson led Fairleigh Dickinson with 17 points, and Kaleb Bishop added 12 to make it his second straight game with double figures. Knights coach Greg Herenda said that his team matched up better against OSU than it did against Army (4-4), their previous opponent.

The Buckeyes were coming off a near-upset win at No. 6 Virginia on Wednesday that somehow didn’t translate to the court on Saturday. Williams said that, for whatever reason, the team continues to play down to its opponents rather than remaining consistent.

“I feel like this team is at its best when we’re about to play a game and we play like our hair’s on fire,” he said. “When we play these games, we don’t have that sense of urgency.”

Both teams shot better in the second half, OSU at 53.6 percent and Fairleigh Dickinson at 41.7 percent. Despite Thompson’s 13 rebounds and five blocked shots, the Knights still had 28 points in the paint and grabbed nine offensive rebounds to OSU’s eight.

“We did just enough to have a chance to win and to do extraordinary things, you need to play extraordinary,” Herenda said. “Ohio State was just too big, too long and too good today.”

BIG PICTURE

Ohio State: The turnover bug continues to bite the Buckeyes, who turned the ball over seven times in the first 10 minutes of the game and 14 total. In OSU’s last game, the team coughed up 20 turnovers to Virginia and allowed the Cavaliers to overcome a 12-point halftime deficit.

JaQuan Lyle struggled for a second straight game with only seven points and five turnovers with five assists.

Thompson said that Matta told the team that the Fairleigh Dickinson performance showed signs of regression.

Fairleigh Dickinson: The Knights have had their struggles through seven games following last season’s conference tournament championship and NCAA tournament bid. However, at several points, Fairleigh Dickinson exposed the Buckeyes.

“These games help us so much down the road,” Herenda said. “Today it hurts and it stings, but as the season goes on, these games help us tremendously.”

UP NEXT

The Buckeyes host a midweek matchup against Florida Atlantic on Tuesday before welcoming the Connecticut Huskies to the Schottenstein Center on Dec. 10.

Fairleigh Dickinson returns home on Wednesday to play the Iona Gaels before beginning a three-game road trip at Towson.


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