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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 18 Ohio State men’s basketball team opened its 2019-20 season with a 64-56 victory over Cincinnati Wednesday night at Value City Arena. The Buckeyes, who also opened their 2018-19 season with a 64-56 win over the Bearcats, take on UMass Lowell at 4 p.m. Sunday at Value City Arena.
Kyle Young notched his first-career double-double, going for 14 points and 13 boards, to pace the Buckeyes while D.J. Carton added nine points and Kaleb Wesson went for eight points and 11 boards. Jarron Cumberland and Keith Williams led Cincinnati with 13 points apiece while Chris McNeal chipped in with 10.
The Buckeyes struggled out of the gate, falling behind 6-0 before a Young dunk on the fast break made it 6-2 at the 12:20 mark of the opening half. A quick 5-0 Ohio State spurt capped by an Andre Wesson 3-pointer with 7:34 remaining gave the Buckeyes their first lead at 10-11 but, after the contest was knotted at 15-all, the Bearcats closed the half on an 11-4 run to take a 26-19 lead into the half.
Young led the Buckeyes, who missed all five of their first-half free throw attempts, with 10 points and eight boards in the first 20 minutes. Cumberland and Williams paced Cincinnati with seven points apiece.
Ohio State came out of the break on a roll, opening the half with a 14-3 run spurred on by a pair of Kaleb Wesson 3-pointers, to take a 33-29 lead with 13:17 left to play. The Buckeye lead grew to nine at 52-43 on a Luther Muhammad 3-pointer with 7:12 remaining but Cincinnati answered with an 8-1 run over the next 3:32 to cut their deficit to 53-31 with 4:40 to go. After the teams exchanged baskets, Ohio State scored the next five points to put the contest out of reach at 60-53 with less than a minute remaining.
After connecting on nine of 29 attempts (31.0 percent) from the field in the first half, Ohio State shot 55 percent (11-for-20) in the final 20 minutes. The Buckeyes bounced back from their rough start from the foul line the opening half to connect on 19-for-24 (79.2 percent) from the line in the second half. For the game, Ohio State limited the Bearcats to 19-for-57 (33.3 percent) from the field and 4-for-21 (19.0 percent) from 3-point range.