Lighty’s 29 lead Buckeyes to win

Associated Press


David Lighty scored 13 of No. 2 Ohio State’s first 16 points and sat out most of the second half while finishing with 29 points to lead the Buckeyes past UNC Asheville 96-49 on Tuesday night.

Lighty, who came in averaging 11.6 points, had 23 at halftime. He left with 10:23 left — one shy of his career high — and did not return.

William Buford added 14 points, Deshaun Thomas 13 and Jared Sullinger added nine points and 16 rebounds for the Buckeyes (11-0).

J.D. Primm had 15 points, D.J. Cunningham 13 and Chris Stephenson 11 for the Bulldogs (5-6).

Lighty hadn’t hit double figures in his past four games but had that covered in the opening 2:45.

He almost outscored the Bulldogs in the opening half by himself. He hit 9 of 12 shots from the field including 5 of 7 3-pointers as the Buckeyes led 48-24.

Down 26 points in the opening half, the Bulldogs scored 10 of the first 12 points in the second half to pull to 50-34, but then Lighty made a 3 and the Buckeyes were off and running again.

Asheville fell to 0-12 against Big Ten teams. The Bulldogs have played eight of their 11 games on the road, including an 80-69 loss at No. 24 North Carolina on Nov. 23 and an 87-72 defeat at No. 16 Georgetown on Nov. 27.

The 23-year-old Lighty is the Buckeyes’ elder statesman. He came in with the “Thad Five” in the fall of 2006, a recruiting class that included three players (Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr. and Daequan Cook) who would be taken in the first round of the NBA draft after their freshman season.

He missed most of the 2008-9 season with a broken bone in his foot, had his finest season a year ago and then re-broke a bone in the same foot this past spring, requiring more rehab.

The fifth-year senior from Cleveland was making his 99th start. He’s played at Ohio State with six first-round draft picks, played in the 2007 NCAA title game and his teams have won 106 games in which he’s played — just five off the school mark.

Lighty’s previous career high came 364 days earlier on Dec. 22, 2009, against Cleveland State. Against Asheville, he set career highs for field goals made (11), 3-pointers made (seven) and attempted (10) and he matched his most field goals attempted (16).