Buckeyes soar past Illinois State in Season opener

Justice Sueing scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds as No. 23 Ohio State started the game on a 22-0 run and defeated Illinois State 94-67 in the season-opener for both teams on Wednesday afternoon at Value City Arena in Columbus.

Sueing led a balanced scoring effort that included five players in double figures. E.J. Liddell added 16 points, Duane Washington Jr. and Zed Key had 12 points while CJ Walker chipped in with 10 points and six assists. The Buckeyes shot 48 percent from the floor (31-of-64) and were six of 18 from behind the three-point line.

After taking a 22-0 lead nearly seven minutes into the first half, Illinois State got on the scoreboard thanks to a Dedric Boyd free throw. The Buckeyes didn’t allow a Redbirds field goal until 13:10 on a jump shot by Howard Fleming Jr.

Sueing, who made his Ohio State debut on Wednesday after sitting out last season after transferring from Cal, made eight of his nine field goal attempts and tied with Kyle Young for the team lead in rebounds with eight. Young added eight points and made three of his five field goal attempts.

A total of 13 players saw playing time for the Buckeyes and 11 of them registered at least one point. Making their Ohio State debuts were Sueing, Key, Eugene Brown III, Jimmy Sotos and Jansen Davidson.

The Buckeye defense limited Illinois State to 38.6 percent shooting (22 of 57) and outrebounded the Redbirds 43-33.