COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) No one from Ohio State was doing cartwheels after snapping a four-game losing streak with an 89-62 defeat of VMI on Saturday, but the Buckeyes confirmed it was nice to get back in the win column.
''It's definitely a different feeling, different atmosphere in the locker room,'' said Marc Loving, who scored 17 points for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes (3-4) had not won since an 82-55 decision over Grambling on Nov. 17, losing to Texas-Arlington, Louisiana Tech, Memphis and then-No. 10 Virginia in the meantime.
They led nearly the whole way against the Keydets (3-4), using a 15-3 run to open up a 39-26 lead with a little less than four minutes to go until halftime.
Starting for an ill Daniel Giddens, sophomore Trevor Thompson keyed the spurt with seven points.
''I think he's got a pretty good feel when he catches the ball in terms of what needs to be done,'' Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. ''Hopefully we can build off that. We get Danny back Tuesday and we can continue to build that rotation.''
Thompson, a transfer from Virginia Tech who sat out last season, finished with 13 points, the most he has scored in Buckeye uniform.
''I credit it all to my teammates,'' he said. ''My teammates gave me real good looks and I just went up and finished it.
Jae'Sean Tate had 19 points while Keita Bates-Diop added 12 for the Buckeyes.
QJ Peterson led the Keydets (3-4) with 23 points while Tim Marshall and Julian Eleby added 12 and 11, respectively.
The Buckeyes led 42-31 at the half, and the Keydets never got closer than 10 points in the second half as OSU took advantage of a VMI roster that had no one over 6-6.
Ohio State finished with a 40-14 advantage in points in the paint and won the battle of the boards 48-27.
The 6-7 Loving and 6-11 Thompson led the rebounding effort with 10 apiece while no VMI player had more than five.
''Physically they just wore us down,'' VMI coach Dan Earl said. ''I was proud of our guys for the fight they showed, particularly in the first half.''
He knew he was taking on a wounded Ohio State team and lamented seeing the Buckeyes ''right the ship'' against his squad.
''Sometimes you can't just hand a team experience,'' Earl said. ''Once they get a couple more games under them I'm sure they'll be better the remainder of this year and in their careers. They're a very talented team.''
VMI: Peterson was the player of the month in the Southern Conference after averaging 20.6 points per game in November. He made 6 of 16 shots against the Buckeyes, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes committed a season-low 9 turnovers. They entered the game averaging 15.7 per game and had posted at least 13 in every outing.
Ohio State hosts Air Force on Tuesday night.
VMI plays at Butler on Monday night.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
''I mean it feels good to get a win under our belt,'' Loving said. ''But we still have a lot to work on to be able to keep a one-game wining streak alive.''
OSU point guard Jaquan Lyle had a basket, two assists and a steal during the decisive run. He posted a line of eight points, seven assists and six rebounds.