Ohio St. 77, Ohio U. 61
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Lawrence Funderburke scored 23 points, including seven during a 20-8 run in the second half as Ohio State held off Ohio University for a 77-61 victory Tuesday night.
The Buckeyes’ only seniors, Alex Davis and Tom Brandewie, added 12 and 10 points, respectively in the opening game.
Ohio State had won last year’s meeting against the Bobcats 78-62, but the Buckeyes graduated four starters from that 26-6 team that made it to the NCAA regional finals. Ohio lost all five of its starters.
The Bobcats, who trailed 36-35 at the half, pulled even at 50 on a three- point play by freshman Gus Johnson with 9:53 remaining.
But then Funderburke, who hit nine of 12 free throws, put in a pair of foul shots and followed with a shot inside, ending a cold streak where the Buckeyes had missed eight of nine from the field.
After another freshman, Gary Trent, dunked to cut the lead to 54-52, Ohio State scored the next six points on a 3-point field goal by Davis, a rebound follow by Rickey Dudley and a foul shot by Funderburke for a 60-52 lead.
The Bobcats got no closer than six points the rest of the way.
Chad Estis scored 14 points, Mike Reese had 11 and Trent 10 for the Bobcats, who were outscored from the foul line 21-10 and hit just 40 percent from the field.
Ohio U., which started three sophomores, a freshman and a senior, had 27 turnovers but outrebounded the taller Buckeyes 35-30, with Trent grabbing 11.
Dudley had just two field goals for the game, but both came on rebound follows as Ohio State went on its late tear.