Houston bounces Ohio State, to face Kentucky next

Sports

Guard Corey Davis Jr. led a balanced attack with 21 points, and backcourt mate Galen Robinson Jr. had 13 points, five assists and a career-high six steals to lift No. 3 Houston to the Sweet 16 with a 74-59 victory over No. 11 Ohio State on Sunday night in the second round of the Midwest Regional in Tulsa, Okla.

Mar 24, 2019; Tulsa, OK, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard C.J. Jackson (3) passes the ball over Houston Cougars guard Corey Davis Jr. (5) and Cougars forward Brison Gresham (55) during the second half in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at BOK Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Houston (33-3) will play No. 2 seed Kentucky (29-6) in the round of 16 in Kansas City, Missouri. Kentucky advanced with a 62-56 victory over No. 7 Wofford in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday.

Houston led 39-31 at the half but missed its first eight shots of the second half to let Ohio State (20-15) remain within striking distance.

C.J. Jackson’s fourth 3-pointer of the game drew Ohio State within 49-44 with 11:45 left. By that time, the Buckeyes had made 10 of their first 23 attempts from long range.

Ohio State got into the bonus with 9:57 left, but every time the Buckeyes appeared to be making a run, Houston blunted the push with a key basket.

Robinson, a senior leader, broke down the Ohio State defense late in the shot clock for a layup and Davis intercepted a pass in the paint and dribbled the length of the court for another point-blank leaner for a 60-49 Houston lead with 7:27 left.

Ohio State committed turnovers on its first three possessions and on four of its first five, and Houston took advantage to take a slim early lead.

The Buckeyes, however, were uncharacteristically on fire from the perimeter, making eight 3-pointers in the first half, including back-to-back bombs by forward Kaleb Wesson, who normally does most of his damage on the inside.

When Wesson picked up his second foul with 5:44 left in the first half, Ohio State led 27-25. But with Wesson on the bench for most of the rest of the half, Houston went on a 12-6 run and led 39-31 at intermission. Fabian White and Robinson had four points each and Corey Davis Jr. had a 3-pointer in the surge.

Davis, who scored 26 points and made seven 3-pointers in Houston’s first-round rout of Georgia State, led Houston with 11 first-half points.

Despite Ohio State’s 3-point success in the first half, the Cougars pounded Ohio State in the paint, 20-2. The Buckeyes also damaged their chances with eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes. They finished with 14 for the game.

Jackson led Ohio State with 18 points, and forward Wesson added 15.

White had 11 points for Houston, and Armoni Brooks had 10.

—Field Level Media

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