COLUMBUS, Ohio — Whether it was looking ahead to the rematch with No. 9 Kansas or Winthrop playing well, seventh-ranked Ohio State was in trouble until Deshaun Thomas started making shots.
Thomas scored 21 points – missing nine straight shots at one point and making five in a row at another – to lead No. 7 Ohio State past Winthrop 65-55 on Tuesday night.
“It was just being ready. I knew they weren’t falling,” Thomas said. “That’s what players do. You’ve just got to be ready when the moment comes. I got hot there for a second. It started on our defensive end – we got 10 straight stops. Everything was going on from there.”
It was the last tuneup for the Buckeyes (9-1) before Saturday’s matchup with Kansas, which beat them twice last year, once at Allen Fieldhouse and then in the Final Four.
Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 14 points for the Buckeyes, who have won four in a row.
Thomas, a Bishop Luers graduate, added nine rebounds and a career-high four assists.
Derrick Henry had 12 points to lead Winthrop (4-5), which was coming off a 50-49 upset of Ohio University.
No. 4 ARIZONA 89, ORAL ROBERTS 64: In Tucson, Ariz., Mark Lyons scored 17 points, Grant Jerrett added 15 and the Wildcats (9-0) showed no signs of a letdown after an improbable win over then-No. 5 Florida.
No. 9 KANSAS 87, RICHMOND 59: In Kansas City, Mo., Jeff Withey had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Ben McLemore added 14 points and the Jayhawks (9-1) used another big first-half run to help put away the Spiders (9-3).
Derrick Williams had 14 points, and Cedrick Lindsay finished with 12 for the Spiders.
No. 20 MICHIGAN STATE 64, BOWLING GREEN 53: In Bowling Green, Ohio, Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine scored 12 points apiece for the Spartans (10-2), who struggled in the second half to put away the Falcons in a rare road game against a Mid-American Conference school.
Chauncey Orr led Bowling Green (5-5) with 16 points.
No. 25 N.C. STATE 88, STANFORD 79: In Raleigh, N.C., Lorenzo Brown scored 18 of his season-high 24 points after halftime to help the Wolfpack (8-2) pull away.
Dwight Powell scored 23 for the Cardinal (7-4).
No. 3 BAYLOR 76, No. 10 TENNESSEE 53: In Waco, Texas, Brittney Griner scored the first six points of the game and the Lady Bears (9-1) had the first 17, extending their home winning streak to 45.
Griner finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Tennessee (7-2) had won seven in a row.
No. 14 LOUISVILLE 75, WASHINGTON STATE 39: In Louisville, Ky., Sara Hammond scored 18 points as the Cardinals (10-2) rolled over the Cougars.
Lia Galdeira’s 13 points led Washington State.
No. 16 DAYTON 90, AKRON 59: In Akron, Ohio, Andrea Hoover and Cassie Sant scored 18 points as the Flyers (11-0) coasted to a nonconference win.
Rachel Tecca led the Zips (8-3) with 13 points.