COLUMBUS, Ohio — Kaleb Wesson scored 17 points and No. 10 Ohio State recovered after a furious second-half rally from Kent State to pull away for a 71-52 win Monday night.
The Buckeyes (6-0) led by as many as 17 points early in the second half. But the Golden Flashes (5-1) rallied to tie it midway through the second half. Ohio State then answered with 17 straight points to regain control.
Duane Washington Jr. added 16 points and Luther Muhammad chipped in 13 for the Buckeyes.
Danny Pippen had 19 points and Antonio Williams scored 17 for Kent State.
Washington had a pair of 3s on his way to 10 first-half points for Ohio State, which led 35-23 at the intermission.
The teams traded the lead early before Ohio State’s D.J. Carton scored on a strong drive for a 12-11 lead. The Buckeyes then went on a 16-4 run, which included six points from Washington and five from Muhammad. Carton capped the run with a 3 off an assist from Andre Wesson to make it 33-19 with 2:00 left in the half.
A Muhammad three put the Buckeyes ahead 40-23 with 17:33 left. Ohio State still led 45-32 after an Andre Wesson 3 with 15:13 left.
But the Flashes, fueled by one 3 from Pippen and two from Williams, went on a 16-3 run to tie the game at 48-48 with 10:30 left.
Ohio State answered by scoring 17 straight points with 11 of those coming at the foul line. Kyle Young’s two free throws gave OSU a 65-48 lead with 3:55 left.
The Buckeyes enjoyed a big advantage at the free throw line, where they were 22 of 30. Kent State was 4 of 7.
For the second year in a row, Ohio State played a game at St. John Arena. St. John served as the home arena of Ohio State basketball for 42 seasons from 1956-57 through 1997-98 before the program moved down the street to Value City Arena. The Buckeyes improved to 7-0 in games at St. John since that move.
Kent State: Veteran coach Rob Senderoff has to like the way his mix of veterans and newcomers put a scare into the Buckeyes. Back in their element in the MAC, the Golden Flashes could be a conference contender once again.