Ohio State 81, Saint Joseph’s 74
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Ohio State hit its first seven 3-pointers and survived a second-half rally by Saint Joseph’s to beat the Hawks 81-74 Saturday at the Palestra.
Je’Kel Foster scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Ohio State (4-0), which built a 25-10 lead less than 10 minutes into the game on a 3-pointer by Jamar Butler. The shot—and the Buckeyes’ hot perimeter shooting—caused Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli to throw up his hands in frustration.
The OSU lead reached 43-25 on a 3-pointer by Foster early in the second half, before Saint Joseph’s (4-2) rallied. The Hawks pulled within 51-46 on a 3-pointer by Dwayne Lee with 9:16 left, causing Ohio State to call a time out as the SJU fans roared their approval.
But the Buckeyes answered, as Ron Lewis nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing and J.J. Sullinger leaped high in the air for an offensive rebound, was fouled on the putback, and converted a 3-point play to restore the OSU lead to 57-46.
Ohio State remained ahead the rest of the way, though the Hawks pulled to within 70-66 on Abdulai Jalloh’s layup with 1:03 left. But Matt Sylvester hit Ron Lewis with a length of the court pass after the ensuing timeout and Lewis converted a three-point play to keep Saint Joseph’s at bay.
Lewis finished with 14 points—all in the second half. Jalloh led the Hawks with a career-high 30 points, while Sullinger played tremendous defense against Saint Joseph’s leading scorer, Chet Stachitas, limiting him to one field goal and nine points, less than half his average of 19.8 points per game. Lee added 20 for the Hawks.