LIVE BLOG: Ohio State 64, Cincinnati 56
Cincinnati jumps out to a 5-0 lead, with those turnover issues from last season bothering the Buckeyes already. Four throw-aways early. Mick Cronin may be gone, but his pressure defense remains a UC staple.
This is the same game these two teams played last year at Cincinnati, only this time it's Ohio State that can't buy a bucket. Let's see if D.J. Carton's insertion changes things.
Going on six minutes with no points from OSU.
Aaaaaand, he misses. Still a goose egg.
A Kyle Young dunk in transition ends the misery at 12:20. That's 7:40 before OSU's first hoop.
Young scores again, but it's still UC, 8-4, at the second TV timeout.
A bricklayer's convention has broken out. Bearcats are 3-for-14 and OSU is 2-for-10.
Both teams are now under 20% shooting as we tick under the 10-minute mark.
Buckeyes have twice as many turnovers (6) as field goals (3) with 8:41 left. Trail 10-6
Andre Wesson's 3-pointer at 7:21 gives OSU its first lead, 11-10.
The under 8-minute timeout calls a half to this offensive -- literally, offensive -- display. The teams are a combined 10-of-39.
Ohio State is a triple threat early...can't shoot, can't take care of the ball and can't defensive rebound. Bearcats have 8 offensive boards. They cash that one for a 15-11 lead.
This is just an unbelievably dreadful half for Ohio State. It got into the bonus before it had a field goal. But with less than one minute left in the half, it is 0-for-5 from the line.
Second half begins and Young shows it's actually possible for an OSU player to make a free throw.
Kaleb Wesson can't find space inside, so he ventures onto the perimeter for a three-pointer that brings the Buckeyes within 29-28 two minutes into the half.
Now OSU leads by one, 30-29, after two C.J. Walker free throws.
So, if you thought the offensive ugliness was over, sorry. We go 3 1/2 minutes without anyone scoring before Kaleb Wesson hits a 3 that bumps Ohio State's lead to four.
The Buckeyes have been so bad on offense UC went nearly seven minutes without scoring and, when finally breaking that drought, is only down 2, 33-31.
Ohio State stretches the margin to its largest of the night, 40-34, but Jaevin Cumberland's triple from the right corner cuts that in half as we go to break with 9:49 left.
D.J. Carton pumps some life into the offense with a reverse layup in transition and a 3-pointer. Walker gives OSU some experience at the point, but Carton is just a different level of threat. Buckeyes need him to be a 30-minute guy. If he's not, they're not special.
Luther Muhammed adds a 3-pointer at 7:05 and now OSU is in front, 52-43.
Jarron Cumberland scores his first points of the second half from the line at 6:41 to bring UC within, 52-45.
Active whistles at the UC offensive end and the Bearcats are cashing in. Travon Scott's two free throws at 5:21 cuts Ohio State's lead to 53-49.
Kaleb Wesson blows a pair at the line and UC hits two more. Now, it's a two-point game with 4:35 left.
Carton and Muhammed build the margin back to 59-53 with a tandem conversion of the double bonus. OSU gets a break when Jarron Cumberland misses a pair with two minutes left, so the margin stays at six.
OSU throws away two possessions and survives the damage when Cumberland commits an offensive foul and the Bearcats miss a 3-pointer.
That puts the lead at 60-53 with 57 seconds left.
Chris McNeil's three-point play gives the Bearcats hope, but C.J. Walker provides a bit of breathing space with two free throws at 30.9.
Cincinnati loses possession in front of its bench, then fouls Walker, so that and his two free throws with 15.3 seconds puts it out of reach.
Final score: Ohio State 64, Cincinnati 56.