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Freshman Brice Sensabaugh leads Ohio State to easy win

Nov 16, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Isaac Likekele (13) looks for an open teammate as Eastern Illinois Panthers guard Yaakema Rose Jr. (4) defends in the first half at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman Brice Sensabaugh had a career-high 20 points off the bench and Zed Key recorded his third straight double-double when host Ohio State defeated Eastern Illinois 65-43 in Columbus on Tuesday.

Sensabaugh scored 13 points in the first half after scoring 17 and 14 points, respectively, in his first two games for the Buckeyes (3-0).

Key had 10 points and 14 rebounds and Isaac Likekele grabbed 10 rebounds.

Yaakema Rose Jr. led the Panthers (0-4) with 17 points.

Key’s dunk capped a 15-2 run for a 41-25 lead with 12:43 left and the Buckeyes stretched their edge to 25 at 57-32 for their biggest lead with just under six minutes remaining.

Ohio State led 26-20 after a strange first half that had major momentum swings, cold shooting and a duel between Sensabaugh and Rose.

It took Eastern Illinois nearly six minutes to score their first points but the Panthers trailed only 4-2 because each team made one of their first eight shots.

The Buckeyes would run off 14 points in a row for a 21-5 advantage with Sensabaugh and Tanner Holden combining for all of the Ohio State points. Sensabaugh had 10 of them, including a stretch of seven straight to make it 15-5.

Holden, who started the run with a free throw, then canned a trey to make it 18-5 before Sensabaugh drained another triple.

The Panthers would not go away and Rose, who had nine points in the first half, sunk made a field goal and consecutive 3-pointers and suddenly it was 21-13. Eastern Illinois would later pull to within 23-20 but Sensabaugh’s triple with 1:33 left were the final points before the break.

The Buckeyes will head to Lahaina, Hawaii, for the Maui Invitational, opening Monday against No. 17 San Diego State with a possibility of playing No. 14 Arizona the next day.

Eastern Illinois hosts St. Mary of the Woods on Monday.

–Field Level Media