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Ohio State crushes New Orleans 78-36

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Zed Key in his first start of the season scored 16 points to help host Ohio State rout New Orleans 78-36 on Thursday in Columbus.

Jamison Battle led the Buckeyes (10-2) with 17 points. Bruce Thornton had 11 and Dale Bonner 10.

The Buckeyes were without head coach Chris Holtmann and starting center Felix Okpara because each had the flu. Associate head coach Jake Diebler served as acting head coach.

Okpara averages 6.1 points and 6.5 rebounds while playing 19.6 minutes per game. Key started for him and on the first possession of the game took a knock to the head and briefly went to the locker room to be examined.

He came back but was saddled with two early fouls and played just six minutes in the first half while scoring five points.

Jordan Johnson scored eight points and Khaleb Wilson-Rouse had seven for the Privateers (5-7).

Johnson entered as the Privateers leading scorer (23.1) but was limited to just two points — a pair of free throws — through 20 minutes when he was 0 for 7 from the floor, including two tries from beyond the arc. He finished 1 of 10 from the floor.

The Buckeyes won their 31st consecutive home game against an unranked nonconference opponent, according to the Ohio State athletics communication department. The last loss was 72-62 to Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 28, 2018.

The Buckeyes outscored the Privateers 17-2 over the final 5:25 to take a 31-17 halftime lead. A dunk by Jamond Vincent at the 5:49 mark put New Orleans ahead 15-14 for its last lead.

Bonner started a 9-0 run for the Buckeyes with a basket and a free throw before Battle hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 23-15 lead. A layup by Tyson Jackson ended the slide but Ohio State reeled off the next eight points to end the half, getting two buckets from Thornton and one apiece for Bonner and Evan Mahaffey.

–Field Level Media

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