Associated Press, November 24, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) JaQuan Lyle scored 10 points and dished out 11 assists on Wednesday night in Ohio State's 78-47 blowout win over Jackson State in the Global Sports Invitational.
After a slow start to the season, Lyle turned it around in the past three games and even made an impact on the defensive end. The Buckeyes were 23 points better with Lyle on the floor in the first half and plus-33 for the game.
"I think I'm just trying to be the best leader on this team I can be," Lyle said. "First two games I let my teammates down, the university down, fan base down completely. I don't want that feeling again because I mean I was like totally out of it those two games and I didn't feel good as a person."
For much of the first half, Jackson State hung tight with the Buckeyes. Leading scorer Edric Dennis hit a 3 over Marc Loving from well beyond the arc, and then Paris Collins hit his second 3 of the game to put the Tigers up 15-9.
As the leading returning scorer for Jackson State, Collins ignited the 13-2 run in which the Tigers took their only lead of the game. He had 14 points in the first half.
"He's always one of our better players. He's a sparkplug for our team," said Jackson State head coach Wayne Brent. "He fought through it but we didn't have four or five other guys that could fight through it."
OSU freshman forward Andre Wesson checked into the game with Lyle and the Buckeyes went on a 14-0 run, and then capped the half with a 17-3 run, heading into the break leading by 17.
JSU's Collins was held to just five points in the second half.
Williams was 5 for 5 in the first half, and Loving went 3 for 5 from 3 in the second 20 minutes. The Tigers had a 37-32 edge on the boards, but OSU had 20 assists on 26 made field goals to JSU's nine assists.
Loving had struggled for much of the year before tonight. He said that seeing the ball finally go through the basket was a big confidence boost for him.
"It was good to see a couple shots go down for him," said OSU head coach Thad Matta. "We need him playing well, there's no question."
Ohio State shot 55 percent from the field while holding the Tigers to just 30 percent.
Jackson State: The Tigers lost their fourth straight and have a more challenges remaining on their nonconference schedule, including trips to Memphis and No. 20 Baylor.
Ohio State: Keita Bates-Diop sat the bench with an ankle injury for the second straight game. He injured his ankle last Thursday against Providence. Bates-Diop is one of the longest players in OSU's lineup, as well as one of the team's leading rebounders and scorers. Without the 6-foot-7 forward on the floor, OSU is 2-0, and has held the opponents to an average of 42.5 points per game.
"I think first and foremost, we got to get Keita Bates-Diop back as quick as we can," Matta said. "He makes such a difference on both ends of the floor."
Jackson State wraps up the invitational with a home matchup against Western Carolina on Saturday night.
Ohio State stays in Columbus to finish the Global Sports Invitational on Friday night against Marshall. It will be the Buckeyes' third game this week. Next Wednesday, OSU travels to Charlottesville, Virginia, to face the No. 7 Cavaliers in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.