COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Buckeyes have done a good job of splitting the scoring load over the past several games and Tuesday night was David Lighty's night to shine. The senior guard went off scoring 29 points on 7-10 shooting from beyond the arc as Ohio State (11-0 )slowed down the Bulldogs of UNC Asheville (5-6) and won in convincing fashion with a 96-49 blowout victory.
William Buford had 14 points and five rebounds while big man Jared Sullinger was held below his scoring average with nine points but went off on the glass with 16 rebounds. He also led the team with five assists. Asheville was led by J.P. Primm and his 14 points and big man D.J. Cunningham threw in 13 of his own.
Lighty got the Buckeyes started off and scored the first 11 points of the game for the Buckeyes. The Bulldogs made an effort to double in the post and came out in some defenses that were called 'gimmicky' by Asheville head coach Eddie Biedenbach. The Buckeyes took what was being given to them and Lighty was happy to oblige with a hot hand.
"I think they opened in a triangle and two," Ohio State head coach Thad Matta said. "They found him, he was the open guy and kind of got rolling there."
The Cleveland (Ohio) native had been held to less than ten points during the last four games but found his stroke early in the game and was only slowed down by going to the bench.
"I was open and just preparing," Lighty said. "I was just knocking them down and I am not sure what (defense) they really started in but I was wide open at the beginning of the game and I just started feeling good after I hit the first one."
Ohio State's defense held Asheville well below its scoring average with a season low 49 points on the evening. The Bulldogs shot 37.5-percent on the evening and turned the ball over 21 times.
"Defense brings offense so we do that every day in practice and focus on our defense because we can all score," freshman forward DeShaun Thomas said. "Once we get stops that is even better because when we get stops our can be great."
Asheville head coach Biedenbach is a voter in the coaches poll and had nothing but respect for how talented the Buckeyes are.
"I have them ranked second right now, but with Duke's point guard out, (the Buckeyes) are right there," Biedenbach said. "I'd like to play Duke as well to see which team really is the best."
Lighty played 17 minutes in the first half and 13 in the second half. He didn't know that he was on the verge of entering the record books with long distance shooting and had to find out well after the fact.
"Actually I didn't know what I hit seven until like five minutes left in the game when Aaron Craft came and told me," Lighty joked. "He told me that I could have caught J.D. on his record. But there is nothing wrong with it, as long as we win the game I am happy."
Matta joked after the game that it would have been hilarious if Lighty would have been able to dethrone Diebler in the record books for most threes in a game. The bigger picture had to be addressed however.
"I didn't know he had 23 points at halftime," Matta joked. "That was in my thought process of knowing that we play in less than 48 hours and getting guys out o the game."
Up next on Thursday is a game with Oakland University. The Golden Grizzlies played Michigan State to the wire and lost by one point, went into Knoxville (Tenn.) and upset a previously unbeaten Tennessee team and led the Fighting Illini most of the way in their contest before losing late.