CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s basketball team withstood a late run to take a 64-56 win over Cincinnati in its 2018-19 season opener Wednesday night at Fifth Third Arena.
Kaleb Wesson led four Buckeyes in double figures with 15 points while C.J. Jackson added 13, Luther Muhammad scored 11 and Kyle Young chipped in with 10 points and a game-high eight boards. Cincinnati’s Jarron Cumberland scored all 22 points after the break to lead all scorers.
The Buckeyes shut down the Bearcats offensively in the first 20 minutes, limiting Cincinnati to 4-of-29 shooting and 2-of-12 from 3-point range. After Cincinnati scored the opening points on a Justin Jenifer 3-pointer at the 18:59 mark, the Bearcats were able to keep the Buckeyes off the board until a Wesson layup with 16:14 remaining. Ohio State then took the lead on a Keyshawn Woods jumper at the 14:50 mark and were able to push the advantage to 12-6 on a Musa Jallow layup at the 11:02 mark. The Buckeyes held Cincinnati without a field goal for the final 6:38 of the half on their way to a 27-8 lead at the break.
Young paced Ohio State with six points in the opening stanza while Jackson scored five and Woods and Wesson added four apiece. Cane Broome led the Bearcats with five points before the half.
Ohio State came out of the break strong and extended its lead to 38-22 after a 3-pointer from Andre Wesson less than five minutes into the second half. A Muhammad 3-pointer held the Buckeye advantage at 55-39 with 5:23 remaining but Cumberland scored 12 points over the next four-plus minutes to spur a 17-5 Bearcat run and cut the Ohio State lead to 60-56 with one minute left. However, Jackson hit a layup with 29 seconds left and iced it with two more free throws to seal the win.
For the game, the Buckeyes limited the Bearcats to 27.4 percent (17-of-62) from the field and 23.1 percent (6-of-26) free 3-point range.
The Buckeyes open their home slate with a 4 p.m. matchup against Purdue Fort Wayne Sunday at Value City Arena.