Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Lenzelle Smith Jr. tallied 18 points and nine rebounds as the 11th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes routed the Morgan State Bears, 89-50, from Value City Arena.
Smith and Shannon Scott made four 3-pointers apiece for Ohio State (1-0), which won its 10th straight season opener under head coach Thad Matta. Scott had a career-high 16 points and a game-high seven assists in the triumph, while LaQuinton Ross registered a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards.
"We've got players that can knock down open shots at any time," said Ross. "We struggled with that at times last season, but now everyone has been in the gym during the summer and preseason and it's become a strength."
Sam Thompson and Marc Loving netted 14 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench for the Buckeyes, who are coming off a 29-8 campaign. OSU reached the West Regional final of the NCAA Tournament last season before getting knocked off by Wichita State.
"It really makes it hard for our team to be guarded," Scott said of OSU's depth. "Teams really cant focus on one player."
Ohio State's reserves outscored their counterparts, 32-5.
Last year's leading scorer, Justin Black, returned for Morgan State (0-1) and deposited 13 points in defeat. Big man Ian Chiles added 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
"Thad Matta is a great coach and did a great job of getting his team ready," said Morgan State head coach Todd Bozeman. "They moved the ball, they shared the ball, they played hard and they were always going downhill. They're going to have a great season."
Morgan State kept it close in the early portion of the first half until a 16-0 surge that spanned 5:53 pushed Ohio State to a comfortable halftime lead.
Leading 29-19, Ross and Trey McDonald knocked down a pair of free throws around a Smith 3-pointer to get it started. Smith also had a dunk during the charge and capped it with another triple.
As time was winding down in the opening 20 minutes, Aaron Craft drove and missed a layup, but Ross was there for the tip-in as time expired. The Buckeyes led 49-23 at intermission.
Ross scored seven of the first nine OSU points of the second half before Thompson and Scott hit consecutive 3-pointers just over five minutes in. The Buckeyes cruised the rest of the way.
The Buckeyes improved to 2-0 all-time against Morgan State and 17-0 against members of the MEAC ... Ross' double-double was the first of his career ... OSU will host Ohio on Tuesday.