COLUMBUS, Ohio – This has not been a vintage year for Aaron Craft on offense.
But with his team trailing in the second half, Craft took over and gave seventh-ranked Ohio State a lift down the stretch.
Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored 20 points and Craft had all 10 of his points in a second-half surge to lead the Buckeyes past stubborn Wyoming (4-2) 65-50 on Monday night.
Aaron really kind of took things over there, coach Thad Matta said. We went to him down the stretch and he was as good as he could be.
Craft, who came in shooting 35 percent from the field without a 3-pointer this season, was scoreless and having another forgettable offensive game until he began driving and scored 10 of the Buckeyes’ 13 points during a 13-4 run that turned the tide.
We came into the first TV timeout and just looked at each other and said, Hey, they’re a great team. That was their run and now we’ve got to respond,’ Craft said. It really just kind of stemmed from our defense. We started guarding the ball a little better, getting stops, getting rebounds. Anytime we can do that, we usually get easy layups.
Amir Williams added 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds – six more than his previous best – for Ohio State (5-0).
No. 3 KENTUCKY 68, CLEVELAND STATE 61: In Lexington, Ky., Andrew Harrison’s 3-point play broke a 57-all tie before twin brother Aaron followed with a 3-pointer with 1:20 remaining, helping the Wildcats (5-1) survive against the Vikings (3-3). Kentucky trailed 54-44 with 7:41 remaining before rallying. Julius Randle led Kentucky with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
No. 7 OKLAHOMA STATE 93, SOUTH FLORIDA 67: In Tampa, Fla., Marcus Smart and Markel Brown scored 25 points apiece, leading the Cowboys (5-0).
No. 8 SYRACUSE 75, MINNESOTA 67: In Lahaina, Hawaii, C.J. Fair scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds as the Orange (5-0) held off the Gophers (5-1) in the first round of the Maui Invitational. Malik Smith had 16 for Minnesota.
No. 15 FLORIDA 86, JACKSONVILLE 60: In Jacksonville, Fla., Casey Prather scored 27 points and Michael Frazier II added 17 as the Gators (5-1) rolled.
No. 17 IOWA STATE 110, UMKC 51: In Ames, Iowa, DeAndre Kane had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the Cyclones (5-0) past the Kangaroos (1-4).
ARIZONA ST. 79, No. 25 MARQUETTE 77: In Tempe, Ariz., Jahii Carson scored 23 points and Jordan Bachynski swatted Derrick Wilson’s runner at the buzzer for his seventh block, helping Arizona State (6-0) remain undefeated. Marquette fel to 3-2.
MISSOURI 78, IUPUI 64: In Columbia, Mo., Jabari Brown scored a career-high 24 points and Jordan Clarkson added 22 to lead the Tigers (5-0). Ja’Rob McCallum scored 14 points and Ian Chiles added 12 for the Jaguars (1-5).
No. 8 MARYLAND 69, DREXEL 63: In College Park, Md., Alyssa Thomas scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help the Terrapins (5-1) survive.
No. 19 SOUTH CAROLINA 70, SOUTHERN CAL 50: In Los Angeles, Tiffany Mitchell scored a career-high 22 points and Aleighsa Welch had 14 points to lead the Gamecocks (7-0). Ariya Crook led the Trojans (3-2) with 16 points.
INDIANA 85, SAINT LOUIS 69: In Bloomington, the Hoosiers remained unbeaten (6-0), led by 19 points from Fort Wayne’s Tabitha Gerardot. She made 6 of 10 shots. Taylor Agler added 14 points and four rebounds. Saint Louis (2-4) got 21 points from Erin Nelson.