COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State ran past, rather than looked past, The Citadel on Tuesday night to set up a bigger test in its next game against No. 5 North Carolina.
Kam Williams and Keita Bates-Diop each scored 17 points as Ohio State won its fifth straight game with a 94-65 win against a mid-major opponent that scores nearly 90 points a game and gives up an equally amount while trying to set a frenetic pace that the Buckeyes (10-3) are unlikely to see again this season.
"It was a unique game, a unique style with how The Citadel plays," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. "They've got creative ways of attacking teams."
The Buckeyes got plenty of open looks once it cracked the pressure defense and shot 50 percent (37 of 74) from the floor and had 27 assists.
"We want to get our team the best shot," Williams said. "If that means giving up a good shot to get a great one, that's what we're going to do."
The Citadel defense (89.3 points per game) is third-worst in Division I. They are 12th in scoring average (89.6), but trailed 44-23 at the half when the Bulldogs made 22.9 percent of their field goals.
Their previous lowest output in a game this season was a 98-72 loss to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Dec. 2.
"We're not usually this bad offensively," The Citadel coach Duggar Baucom said. "But give all credit to Ohio State. They didn't allow us to do things we normally do. . They were not looking ahead to North Carolina."
BY THE NUMBERS
The Citadel's Matt Frierson made a 3-pointer in the first half, giving him at least one in 18 consecutive games. The Bulldogs made 13 of 43 (30.2 percent) 3-pointers, the most treys allowed by OSU since VMI had 49 on Nov.25, 2007. . This was the first time the schools have played. Ohio State is 8-1 vs. teams representing the Southern Conference.
"He called off the dogs on us a little bit. I'm not na�ve." -- Baucom talking about Holtmann.
"This is their championship. We have to match their intensity" -- Dakich on not overlooking the decided underdog in The Citadel.
The Citadel: The Bulldogs usually start two freshmen and two sophomores and have had as many as four frosh players on the court at the same time, so there continues to be growing pains. Six of the 12 players are freshmen. The Citadel is one of seven Division I schools without a senior on the roster.
Ohio State: After making 3 of 14 3-pointers in the previous game against Appalachian State, the Buckeyes made some improvement by hitting 13 of 35 (37 percent) vs. the Bulldogs.
The Citadel: The Bulldogs take a holiday break before beginning Southern Conference play Dec. 30 with a home game against Western Carolina. The Citadel, picked to finish in a tie for seventh in the conference in the coaches' preseason poll, is 4-2 at home.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes will take a major step in the level of competition when they play North Carolina (10-1) at New Orleans in the CBS Sports Classic on Saturday. Ohio State's only game against a ranked opponent was an 86-59 loss to then-No. 17 Gonzaga on Nov. 23 in Portland, Oregon.
5-star recruit Scottie Barnes commits to Florida State
Five-star recruit Scottie Barnes has committed to Florida State over Oregon.
Good schedule, bad schedule: Who helped, harmed their NCAA tournament chances?
When the 2020 NCAA tournament rolls around, these teams could rise or fall based on the aggressiveness of their non-conference schedules.
Jim Calhoun: Never 'knowingly treated any woman unfairly because of her gender'
Jim Calhoun, responding to allegations of sexual discrimination by a former associate AD at the University of Saint Joseph, told the Hartford Courant in a statement Saturday that he "at no time, knowingly treated any woman unfairly because of her gender."