For five minutes, the Campbell Camels kept it close.
But five minutes later, the No. 16 Ohio State men’s basketball team held a 20-10 lead after going on an 11-2 run.
The Buckeyes (4-0) held a 45-22 lead at halftime, but only outscored Campbell (1-3) 46-42 in the second half on their way to a 91-64 win Wednesday night at the Schottenstein Center.
Sophomore forward Marc Loving said there were portions of the game — particularly in the second half — when the Buckeyes were lacking in energy.
“We relaxed at times,” Loving said after the game. “Spurts in the game we needed to regroup and we didn’t. Definitely take care of that in practice.”
Coach Thad Matta said OSU didn’t have “a lot of energy” or “juice” in the second half, and he didn’t see the same pace he had hoped for after a fast start to the game.
“I told ‘em at halftime, ‘the biggest thing I’m looking for in the second half is claiming rebounds and running in transition,’” Matta said. “And we get it a couple times, but it was never the consistent push that we wanted.”
OSU struggled with rebounding on the defensive side of the floor at times, leading to 13 offensive rebounds for the Camels, compared to just 13 for the Buckeyes.
Two early 3-pointers helped the Camels keep it at 9-8 five minutes into the game, but OSU’s balanced attack helped the Buckeyes take a double-digit lead at the 11:01 mark in the first half that they never relinquished for the final 45 minutes of action.
As a team, OSU shot 60.7 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point land in the game.
Matta said he’s been “pleasantly surprised” by how well the Buckeyes have shot this season, but added that won’t necessarily be a given week in and week out.
“You’re hoping that’s something that you can bank on, and we joked about it the other night, I don’t know how much longer you can keep shooting at this clip,” he said. “But I do think guys are taking more pride in their shots and seeing the ball go through the basket.”
The second half started much like the first as Campbell opened the period on a 10-5 run. But the Buckeyes responded to take a 73-46 lead with 9:03 to play in the game.
Starting with a 53-32 lead at the 16:43 mark in the half, OSU led by at least 20 for the rest of the game.
Despite scoring one more point in the second half than his team did in the first, Matta said he wanted to see more push from the Buckeyes.
“You still score 91 points, but I didn’t think we played as fast as we wanted to,” he said.
All 10 OSU players to take the court scored, while all five Buckeye starters scored in double figures. The Buckeyes have scored at least 90 points in three of four games this season.
OSU shot 60 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes while limiting Campbell to a 29.2 shooting percentage and just three 2-point field goals at the break. All five Buckeye starters scored at least six points in the first half, with freshman guard D’Angelo Russell leading the way with 12 points and sophomore forward Marc Loving adding 10.
Russell said the Buckeyes were more focused on playing their own game than paying attention to Campbell heading into the contest.
“We’re really not worrying about our opponent, we’re worrying about our team and we’re trying to get better as a team the best way we can,” he said.
Senior guard Shannon Scott — who set a program record with 16 assists in a win against Sacred Heart on Sunday — had four of OSU’s eight assists before halftime.
Freshman guard D’Angelo Russell led all players with 22 points while sophomore forward Marc Loving had 18. Russell also led all players with seven assists and shot four of six from 3-point range.
After tallying his career-best scoring output, Loving said he wasn’t any more comfortable against the Camels than he was in the first three games of the year.
“I wouldn’t say I get more and more comfortable each game,” he said. “I’ve been pretty comfortable this season.”
Campbell redshirt-senior guard Andrew Ryan poured in 17 points on five-of-eight shooting from three to lead the Camels.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to the court on Friday to take on James Madison at the Schottenstein Center. Tip is set for 4:00 p.m.
With two games in three days, Matta said the Buckeyes are set to practice in the afternoon on Thanksgiving to prepare for Friday, and he said he’s hoping the team keeps its energy during the holiday.
“I told these guys, there’s two types of teams over break, we’re on break right now,” he said. “There’s teams that play really, really well because they don’t have a lot to do and then there’s teams that kind of become lethargic, and I know which team I want us to be.”