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Dec. 27, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Keita Bates-Diop scored a career-high 24 points and Ohio State won its fourth straight with a 73-57 victory against South Carolina on Sunday night.

Bates-Diop was 8 for 14 from the floor, including 5 of 9 on 3-pointers, and tied a career-high with 10 rebounds.

The Buckeyes completed their nonconference schedule with an 8-5 record.

Bates-Diop was the story in the first half, scoring 17 points to top his previous best in a half by one. He made 5 of 7 3-pointers while his teammates missed all eight tries from beyond the arc and the Buckeyes held a 34-21 halftime lead.

Kam Williams added 12 points for Ohio State, and Trevor Thompson had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Gabriel McCray had 17 points and Ed Stephens scored 11 for South Carolina State (5-9), which lost its fourth straight.

The Bulldogs were ahead 15-11 nine minutes into the game but went cold from there, enduring a four-minute drought that enabled Ohio State to reel off eight straight points.

After a bank shot by DouDou Gueye drew South Carolina State to within 19-17, Bates-Diop connected on consecutive 3s off assists by Marc Loving to make it 25-17. Bates-Diop added two more treys in the final 2:15 of the half.

South Carolina opened the second half with six straight points, four by McCray, to cut the deficit to 34-27 before a JaQuan Lyle’s mid-range floater restored a nine-point advantage.

Ohio State’s defense caused problems, forcing the shot clock to seven or fewer seconds on eight occasions. The Buckeyes also blocked nine shots, six coming in the first half.

A.J. Harris had five assists in the second half, with four leading to alley-oop dunks.

TIP-INS

South Carolina State: The Bulldogs were picked to finish eighth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason poll. They are 1-1 in league play. … South Carolina State doesn’t have any players from Ohio but director of athletics Paul Bryant is from Dayton.

Ohio State: Although the Buckeyes played the Bulldogs for the first time, they are familiar with the MEAC having compiled a 19-0 record vs. current members. The most recent meeting prior to Sunday was last season, a 97-55 win against North Carolina A &T.

UP NEXT

South Carolina State plays at Akron on Wednesday.

Ohio State opens the Big Ten season on Wednesday by hosting Minnesota.