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November 16, 2013

Buckeyes best No. 17 Marquette on the road

It had been nearly three years since the Ohio State men's basketball team beat a ranked, non-conference opponent on the road.

The drought, while insignificant-the Buckeyes faced just two ranked, non-Big Ten teams on the road during that time-ended Saturday.

No. 10 Ohio State bested No. 17 Marquette, 52-35, in a rematch of a game that should have occurred but didn't in 2012. Shannon Scott and Aaron Craft led the way for the Buckeyes, combining for 23 points, 11 assists and six steals. With the victory, Ohio State ended Marquette's 27-game winning streak at home, the longest in the country

The two programs were supposed to meet last season in the Carrier Classic in Charleston, S.C., aboard the USS Vinson. Condensation on the court, however, forced the contest to be cancelled following a slippery warm-up session. The two teams agreed to a home-and-home series before this season. Ohio State will host Marquette in Columbus in 2014.

Neither team had good footing early on in Saturday's contest.

An ugly first half ended with the team's tied, 19-19, after freshman forward Marc Loving hit a 3-pointer from the corner with the clock expiring. Ohio State shot 7-for-26 from the field in the first twenty minutes with seven different players scoring. Marquette was no better, going 6-for-29.

Getting the ball into the paint was an issue on both sides, forcing the Buckeyes and Golden Eagles to settle for outside shots. The teams combined to shoot 3-for-21 from 3-point range in the first half.

Foul trouble, as it's been throughout college basketball early this season with the new rule changes, affected both teams. There were 17 fouls called in the first half, with senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Scott each receiving two. Nine different Buckeyes saw the court in the opening half.

Scott was the spark for Ohio State in the second half. The junior guard pushed the tempo early on, allowing the Buckeyes to steadily pull away.

While the offense took off, the defense locked down.

The Buckeyes held Marquette to 16 second-half points and a 18.9 percent shooting percentage from the field.

Buckeye junior forward LaQuinton Ross was held scoreless.

Ohio State (3-0) will host American Nov. 20.

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