Ohio State pounds Detroit Ohio St. 75, Detroit 44

By STEVE HERMAN AP Sports Writer Published:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Now Detroit knows how its opponents felt all season long.

The Titans, third in the nation in field goal percentage defense, did not score a point the first 10 minutes as Ohio State raced to a 75-44 victory in the second round of the NCAA South regional Saturday night.

Michael Redd and Scoonie Penn had 15 points apiece for the fourth-seeded Buckeyes (25-8), who advanced to the regional semifinals Thursday in Knoxville, Tenn., against top-seeded Auburn, which beat Oklahoma State 81-74 in the first game at the RCA Dome.

Detroit (25-6), the No. 12 seed, missed its first 13 shots and 17 of its first 18. The Titans, who held their opponents to 37 percent shooting for the season, managed 20 percent in the first half as Ohio State jumped ahead 12-0 in the first eight minutes.

The Buckeyes built their lead to 16 points late in the first period, took a 25-12 lead at halftime and let Detroit no closer than 11 points early in the second half.

After a 3-pointer by the Titans' Desmond Ferguson made it 29-18, Redd scored for Ohio State, Penn hit a 3-pointer and Brian Brown hit a pair of 3s to push the lead to 40-18. Penn, who also had a career-high 12 rebounds, hit three 3-pointers for the game, giving him a school record 79 for the season.

Detroit's shooting improved in the second half _ finishing at 30.8 percent for the game _ but Ohio State continued widening the lead. The final score matched the biggest lead of the game.

The Titans were led by Jermaine Jackson, who had 16 of his 18 points in the second half. Rashad Phillips, who scored the first Detroit basket with 10:11 to go in the first half, added nine points.

Ohio State's first-half shooting was nothing to boast about _ 26 percent _ but it sure beat Detroit, which couldn't find the basket from the inside or out, or, for that matter, from the free throw line, either.

The first five shots by the Titans were all missed 3-point attempts. The next five were from inside the 3-point line but with no better success. Three more misses made Detroit 0-for-13 before Phillips' short floater from the middle of the lane gave Detroit its first points and brought a huge cheer from the crowd of 32,758.

The Buckeyes, meanwhile, had taken a 12-0 lead with five points each by Penn and Jason Singleton and a solo basket by Redd.

After Phillips broke the ice for Detroit, the Titans managed two consecutive baskets only once the rest of the game, one by Bacari Alexander and then a steal and layup by Jackson that made it 13-6. Four of those first six Detroit points came off Ohio State turnovers, and the Titans twice missed the first of possible one-and-one free throw opportunities.

Detroit's only baskets in the final six minutes of the first half were on 3-pointers by Phillips and, with four seconds to go, by Daniel Whye to cut Ohio State's lead to 25-12 at the break.

Ohio State shot 44 percent for the game and outrebounded Detroit 53-26, with George Reese getting 15 boards for the Buckeyes.

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