COLUMBUS, Ohio — Kaleb Wesson had a career-high 31 points as No. 15 Ohio State overcame a terrible start and beat Youngstown State 75-56 on Tuesday night.
Wesson was dominating in the second half, scoring 26 points as the Buckeyes were again forced to win in come-from-behind fashion. The sophomore topped his previous career-best 22 points, achieved in Saturday’s game against Bucknell.
The Buckeyes (10-1, 2-0 Big Ten) shot poorly in the first half and were forced to rally against a mid-major opponent they should have handled easily from the beginning.
Ohio State trailed 25-22 at the half, but took the lead with a Wesson put-back three minutes into the second half and took control from there.
Luther Muhammad and C.J. Jackson each had 11 points for Ohio State, which has won three in a row after losing their only game of the season Nov. 28.
Darius Quisenberry had 17 points, and Naz Bohannon added 11 for the Penguins (5-9), who have lost five of their last six.
The first half was a nightmare for Ohio State. The Penguins went on a 14-2 run to open the game as the Buckeyes missed shot after shot. Ohio State shot 24 percent from the floor and 1 for 11 from beyond the 3-point line before intermission. The score was so close mostly because Youngstown State wasn’t much better, hitting just 33 percent of its shots.
Wesson took a seat with 5:40 left in the first half when he picked up his second foul and got his third early in the second half before going on a scoring tear.
Youngstown State: Took advantage of Ohio State’s poor shooting to lead the entire first half, but couldn’t keep up once Wesson and the Buckeyes got themselves unglued.
Ohio State: After nearly losing to Bucknell on Saturday, the Buckeyes took another opponent too lightly and were getting stung for a while. They are making too many mistakes against teams they should be dominating.
Youngstown State: Hosts Detroit Mercy on Dec. 28.
Ohio State: At UCLA on Saturday.