OSU opens eyes with rout of UNC

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS FRIDAY -

Sixth-ranked Ohio State spent the last 15 min­utes of Wed­nes­day night’s trip to sev­enth-ranked North Carolina knock­ing down shots, mak­ing the Tar Heels work for ev­ery look and ul­ti­mately driv­ing the blue-clad home fans to­ward the ex­its well be­fore the fi­nal horn.

The re­sult was a sec­ond at­ten­tion­grab­bing blowout by the Buck­eyes against a ranked op­po­nent, this one hand­ing Hall of Fame coach Roy Wil­liams his most lop­sided home loss at UNC.

Duane Wash­ing­ton Jr. had 18 points and Ohio State shot 54% af­ter half­time to beat North Carolina 74-49 in the ACC/Big Ten Chal­lenge. It came roughly three weeks af­ter the Buck­eyes routed then-No. 10 Vil­lanova by 25 points dur­ing an un­beaten start.

“I’ll be in­ter­ested to see how this plays out when we con­tinue to play sim­i­lar com­pe­ti­tion over a longer stretch,” Buck­eyes coach Chris Holtmann said. “I think that’s the real test of your group and how com­mit­ted you are on that end. But cer­tainly we’ve had a good start.”

E.J. Lid­dell added 12 points for the Buck­eyes (8-0), who led just 29-27 at half­time. But Ohio State’s of­fense got go­ing while the de­fense con­tin­ued mak­ing things dif­fi­cult on the Tar Heels (6-2), just as in the first 20 min­utes.

Ohio State outscored UNC 35-13 over the fi­nal 15 1⁄2 min­utes to break the game open. The lead steadily grew un­til the Buck­eyes had sur­passed last Jan­uary’s 83-62 win by

Louisville here that stood as the Tar Heels’ worst in the Smith Cen­ter un­der Wil­liams, who told re­porters: “I have no an­swers, as ev­i­dent from what you watched.”

Lon­don call­ing: Michi­gan and Ken­tucky have agreed to play a bas­ket­ball game in Lon­don next sea­son as part of a three-year deal that also in­cludes a home-and-home se­ries be­tween the two pro­grams.

Michi­gan an­nounced the deal Thurs­day. The teams will play at O2 Arena in Lon­don in De­cem­ber 2020.

The teams will meet at Crisler Cen­ter in Ann Ar­bor in 2021 and at Ken­tucky’s Rupp Arena in 2022.

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