NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Ohio State

Rutgers guard Geo Baker, of Derry shoots while defended by Ohio State Buckeyes forward Kaleb Wesson during the second half of Ohio State’s 76-62 win Saturday at Value City Arena. Baker scored five points in the loss.

Kaleb Wesson scored 21 of his career-high 27 points in the first half as Ohio State defeated Rutgers 76-62 in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.

The 6-foot-9 sophomore exceeded his previous career best of 25 against Michigan State on Jan. 5.

C.J. Jackson scored 20 points, with 17 coming in the second half, for the Buckeyes (14-7, 4-6 Big Ten), who have won two of three following a five-game losing streak that was the program’s longest in 21 years.

The Buckeyes also got 12 points from Luther Muhammad and 11 by Keyshawn Woods.

Eugene Omoruyi scored 19 points for Rutgers (11-10, 4-7) and Caleb McConnell equaled his career high with 14 points, but the Scarlet Knights’ three-game winning streak ended.

Building a nine-point halftime lead, the Buckeyes were up 48-36 before Rutgers chipped away and got the deficit to eight before the game slipped as the Scarlet Knights trailed by as many as 15.

Wesson dominated the first half when the Buckeyes took a 37-29 lead.

He made 8 of 9 field goals, including all three 3-point attempts, and was 2 for 3 from the free throw line. More importantly, he did not commit a foul.

Wesson averaged 4.1 fouls per game in his previous seven games and had not surpassed 12 points in any of his past five games. He had two fouls versus Rutgers.

He hit a jumper and back-to-back treys to spark an 11-0 stretch that carried the Buckeyes from an 8-4 deficit to a 15-8 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half.

The margin reached 22-11 before a 7-0 Rutgers run, but Ohio State extended the lead back to 11 at 37-26 before Geo Baker, of Derry, N.H., hit a 3-pointer for the Scarlet Knights with 37 seconds remaining before halftime.

Rutgers entered with its first three-game Big Ten winning streak since joining the conference in 2014.

The Scarlet Knights failed to win back-to-back league games on the road since they won at Boston College and Providence in February of 2000 as a member of the Big East.

The Buckeyes host Penn State on Thursday. Rutgers hosts No. 5 Michigan on Tuesday.

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