COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) -
Sam Thompson scored a career-high 22 points and D'Angelo Russell flirted with his second straight triple-double to lead No. 23 Ohio State past Penn State 75-55 on Wednesday night.
Russell, the nation's top freshman scorer, added 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists for Ohio State (19-6, 8-4 Big Ten), which has won five of six.
D.J. Newbill had 16 points and Brandon Taylor 11 for Penn State (15-10, 3-9), which swept the two-game series last year after losing 18 straight to the Buckeyes.
Ohio State never trailed after streaking to a 12-0 lead.
The Buckeyes were up 37-23 at halftime, and both teams played erratically with the ball to start the second half.
Ohio State finally broke it open when Keita Bates-Diop and Thompson had consecutive three-point plays to push the lead to 56-38 with just more than 10 minutes left.
The Buckeyes dominated from the outset, with some help from a lethargic Penn State offense.
With five players scoring, the Buckeyes put up the first 12 points while holding the Nittany Lions without a point over the opening 6:54.
The Lions scored nine of 11 points during one span to draw as close as 24-16 before Ohio State pulled away for good. Thompson hit a layup off Russell's assist before Russell made a teardrop and two free throws and Jae'Sean Tate scored inside. After Julian Moore hit a basket for Penn State, Russell poured in a long, arching 3-pointer to make it 35-18.
Thompson's previous career high was 20 points against Iona in the 2013 NCAA tournament.
The Buckeyes were still without second-leading scorer Marc Loving (11.7 points per game), who has been held out of the last three games for an undisclosed disciplinary reason. Ohio State also didn't have its starting center the past five games, Anthony Lee, due to a left groin injury. He did not dress.