Zed Key scored 19 points and had eight rebounds, and freshmen Brice Sensabaugh and Bruce Thornton had 17 points each when Ohio State rolled to 81-53 victory over Cincinnati at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii, on Tuesday.
Sensabaugh has scored in double figures in each of his five games for the Buckeyes (4-1) and Honolulu native Justice Sueing chipped in with 11 points.
Ohio State plays No. 21 Texas Tech (4-1), a 70-38 winner over Louisville, in the fifth-place game Wednesday. Cincinnati (3-3) and Louisville (0-5) will play for seventh place Wednesday.
Viktor Lahkin led the Bearcats with 12 points.
The Buckeyes lead the series with their in-state rival 9-4 with four straight wins.
Building on an 11-point halftime advantage, the Buckeyes went up 51-30 with 14 minutes left on a basket-and-one by Bruce Thornton.
Ohio State took advantage of Cincinnati’s cold shooting to sprint to 38-27 halftime led. Ohio State ran off nine straight points while the Bearcats went more than 4 1/2 minutes without a made field goal until a Mika Adams-Wood layup with 24 seconds left but Sensabaugh drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Key opened the season with three straight double-doubles but ran into foul trouble early in the 88-77 loss to No. 17 San Diego State on Monday to open the tournament. He scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds in 21 minutes.
Key scored six of the Buckeyes’ first eight points and had 12 points and four rebounds by halftime.
The Buckeyes were particularly aggressive on the glass to widen the gap in the first half. Of their first eight misses, they grabbed six offensive rebounds that were converted to seven second-chance points.
Cincinnati started the game with a 5-0 score but it wasn’t long before the Buckeyes moved ahead for good, 17-16, on a pull-up jumper by Thornton.
–Field Level Media