CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The No. 6 Ohio State men’s basketball team used a dominant second half to go on the road to defeat No. 7 North Carolina 74-49 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Wednesday night at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. With the win, the Buckeyes, off to their best start since the 2013-14 season, improve to 8-0 on the year while the Tar Heels fall to 6-2.
The Buckeyes open Big Ten play when they host Penn State at noon Saturday at Value City Arena. Tickets are available for purchase online here.
Duane Washington Jr. led four Buckeyes in double figures with 18 points while E.J. Liddell came off the bench for a career-best 12 points. Kaleb Wesson went for 10 points and nine boards while CJ Walker added 10 points. Cole Anthony paced North Carolina with 15 points while Brandon Robinson chipped in with nine.
Still undefeated and clinched the B1G/ACC Challenge for the Big Ten.
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) December 5, 2019
Ohio State struggled with turnovers in the opening half but took a 29-27 lead into the break. North Carolina scored the first five points of the game but the Buckeyes responded with 3-pointers from Washington Jr. and Kaleb Wesson to take a 6-5 lead with 15:51 remaining. The Tar Heels’ Robinson hit a 3-pointer of his own but the Buckeyes answered with a 14-4 run over 3:36 to regain the lead at 20-12 with 12:05 left to play in the half. However, North Carolina made it a two-point contest on an Andrew Platek free throw with 4:29 remaining before the two teams were able to exchange jumpers over a sloppy final five minutes as Ohio State held a two-point lead at the half.
Washington Jr. scored 12 points to help the Buckeyes overcome 10 first-half turnovers while Kaleb Wesson went for five points and six boards in the opening 20 minutes. Anthony paced North Carolina with eight points on 2-for-10 shooting.
The Buckeyes came out of the half using a 10-3 spurt, capped by layups from Washington Jr. and Kyle Young, to take a 39-30 lead at the 16:49 mark but Anthony responded with a pair of 3-pointers to make it a three-point contest at 39-36 with 15:57 left to play. This time, Ohio State answered with a 15-4 run over the next 4:09, finished by a fast-break dunk by E.J. Liddell, to push its lead to a game-high 14 at 52-38 with 11:48 remaining. The Buckeyes then used another 14-0 run over 3:11 to put the game out of reach at 71-47 on a Young layup with 3:40 left in the contest.
Ohio State shot 53.6 percent (15-for-28) from the field in the second half and held the Tar Heels to 17-for-62 (27.4 percent) from the field for the game. The Buckeyes held a 48-32 advantage on the boards, a 25-10 lead in bench points and 30-10 stronghold in points in the paint in the contest.