COLUMBUS, Ohio – Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored 19 points and No. 3 Ohio State pulled away early to beat Bryant 86-48 on Wednesday night.
Smith hit 6 of 9 shots from the field including half of his four 3-point attempts. He also had eight rebounds and three assists.
“I think Lenzelle is playing at a very high level. He is a complete basketball player. His defense goes unnoticed except by me. His assist-to-turnover rate is a lot better and he is having a great senior season,” head coach Thad Matta said.
Amir Williams added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Buckeyes (9-0).
The Bulldogs hung around with the Buckeyes for a while, but then went scoreless over the last 5:25 of the first half and watched the Buckeyes close on an 8-0 run to take a 43-23 lead. Ohio State then scored the first five points of the second half as Bryant endured a scoring drought of 6:40.
“One of the main points we talked about after the Central Connecticut game was to make sure we continue to sustain energy throughout the duration of the entire game. We did a great job keeping the momentum up the entire night,” Matta said.
This was an early round game in the Blackrock Gotham Classic which will conclude on Dec. 21 with the Buckeyes meeting Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden.
Dyami Starks had 16 points for Bryant (6-5), which was playing its second game in three nights. The Bulldogs lost at Notre Dame, 70-59.