Ohio State wasted no time staking its claim as the team to beat in the Big Ten.
Andre Wesson scored 16 points, Kaleb Wesson had 15, and No. 16 Ohio State beat Minnesota 79-59 on Sunday night in the conference opener for both teams.
C.J. Jackson and Musa Jallow each added 11 points, and Duane Washington Jr., and Kyle Young had 10 apiece to help the Buckeyes improve to 7-1.
“I’m proud of our guys’ effort tonight against a really good Minnesota team,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “I do think we benefited from the fact that they probably had some tired legs from Friday night. But take nothing away from our guys’ approach. Our defense set the tone.”
Amir Coffey led Minnesota (6-2) with 19 points, and Dupree McBrayer added 13.
Cold shooting and bad rebounding put Minnesota in a big early hole. The Gophers failed to grab an offensive rebound in the first 10 minutes of the game.
“If you are not going to bring good physical basketball, you are not going to win in this league,” Gophers coach Richard Pitino said. “(Ohio State is) really good at simple good basketball.
“They are really physical — tough and physical. And they impose it on you.”
Ohio State dominated every aspect from scoring to rebounding, and overwhelmed its Big Ten rival from the start. Minnesota struggled to find the basket up close and at a distance, and never challenged.
FRESHMAN FROM AFAR
Ohio State freshman guard Duane Washington Jr. is 15 of 34 from 3-point range in eight games.
Minnesota senior forward Jordan Murphy is just one point away from 1,400 points to go with 1,000 rebounds in his career, which would make him the 11th player in Big Ten history to that milestone.
The Buckeyes played their first game without freshman guard Luther Muhammad in the lineup. He dislocated his shoulder against Syracuse and is out indefinitely. Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said Muhammad continues to rehab, and there is no timetable on his return. Muhammad is averaging 27.9 minutes and 8.9 points.