PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Freshman D’Angelo Russell had 23 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for his first college triple-double and No. 20 Ohio State took command early and rolled to a 79-60 victory over Rutgers on Sunday, sending the Scarlet Knights to their eighth straight loss.
Jae’San Tate added 20 points and Keita Bates-Diop had 14 to help the Buckeyes (18-6, 7-4 Big Ten) bounce back from a loss at Purdue for their fourth time in five games.
Bishop Daniels had a season-high 17 points for the Scarlet Knights (10-15, 2-10), and Junior Etou added 12 points and 11 rebounds. They haven’t won since upsetting then-No. 4 Wisconsin on Jan. 11.
Ohio State never trailed, built a 21-point lead in the first half and extended it to 25 early in the second with Russell, Tate and Bates-Diop doing most of the damage.
Even when Rutgers made a late run and got to 69-57, Russell fed Tate for a layup and hit a jumper to ice the game. He left with 2:47 to go to polite applause from the big crowd, which was bolstered by almost two dozen NBA scouts.
If there was any concern, it came in the second half when Russell, the nation’s top freshman scorer with a 19.4 point average, seemed to have some discomfort with one of his legs. It looked like cramping and he returned to the came after sitting on the floor at the Rutgers Athletic Center while a trainer spoke with him.
Russell hit a jumper and a 3-point field goal in an 8-2 spurt to open the game and, after Rutgers pulled to 11-10, he added seven more points in a 13-2 spurt that pushed the lead to 24-12.
Ohio State shot better than 48 percent from the field in the first half, including 6 of 13 from long range with Bates-Diop hitting 3 of 4. Tate took over in the second half, scoring 12 points.
Ohio State: Buckeyes coach Thad Matta (293-89) is four wins shy of tying Fred Jones (297-158) for the most wins by an Ohio State coach.
Rutgers: Freshman G Mike Williams returned to action after missing three games with a sprained ankle and scored three points. His return was offset when reserve swingman Malick Kone missed the game with an illness.
Ohio State: Host Penn State on Wednesday night.