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Second-half run pushes Ohio State past Merrimack
Without leading scorer Jordan Derkack, Merrimack only trailed Ohio State by six points at halftime and cut the deficit to within four points early in the second half before the Buckeyes pulled away for a 76-52 win over the Warriors on Wednesday night.
Devon Savage led the Warriors with 20 points on 7 for 13 shooting, including 6 for 9 from three. Bryan Etumnu had a career-high 11 points, and freshman guard Budd Clark had eight points in 38 minutes.
The Warriors had a 12-4 run in the first half that cut its early deficit to four points. That run also consisted of a 7-0 run after Ohio State made it 23-11, which put the Warriors back in the game. Clark had two of those buckets.
The Warriors cut Ohio State's lead to 35-31 early in the second half. After an Etumnu layup at the 19:26 mark, the Warriors didn't score for the next seven minutes.
The Warriors held Bruce Thornton, Ohio State's top scorer, to just eight points.
Merrimack closed the deficit to just six points with 9:24 left in the game, but the Buckeyes went on a 16-0 run after that to put the game out of reach.
Jacob O'Connell had a team-high seven rebounds and three blocks.
GAME NOTES: The Warriors were out-rebounded 42-25. ... Clark and Jaylen Stinson had two steals. … Jordan McKoy played 25 minutes off the bench, which was the most among bench players.
NEXT: The Warriors will have the rest of the week off and will play North Carolina A&T next Wednesday in the opening game of the Samford MTE.
Ohio State 76, Merrimack 52 at Value City Arena Merrimack (2-2): 29-23—52 Ohio State (2-1): 35-41—76 Merrimack (52): Devon Savage 7-0-20, Bryan Etumnu 5-1-11, Budd Cark 4-0-8, Jaylen Stinso 1-0-3, Samba Diallo 0-3-3, Jacob O'Connell 2-0-4, Armandas Plintauskas 1-1-3, Jordan McKoy 0-0-0; Totals 20-3-52. Ohio State (76): Gayle 8-1-20, Battle 4-3-13, Thornton 2-3-8, Mahaffey 2-2-6, Okpara 2-0-4, Key 3-5-11, Middleton 1-2-5, Bonner 2-0-5, Royak 2-0-4, Etzler 0-0-0, Hardman 0-0-0, Parks 0-0-0; Totals 26-16-76