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9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET5:00 PM GMT1:00 PM 北京时间10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST, Dec 29, 2018
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio  Attendance: 14,264

No. 13 Buckeyes ready for rough, tumble High Point

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No. 13 Ohio State closes out the nonconference portion of its schedule on Saturday when it returns from the Christmas break to face High Point at Value City Arena.

The Buckeyes (11-1) haven't played since beating UCLA 80-66 last Saturday in the CBS Sports Classic at the United Center in Chicago. Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson was a dominant force, producing 15 points and 12 rebounds for his second double-double in the past three games.

Ohio State will be trying to finish off a perfect December with their sixth straight win since suffering their only loss, to Syracuse at the end of November. The Buckeyes are off to their best start since the 2013-14 team began 15-0.

"We always concerned about the last couple games before Christmas and certainly the first game after Christmas," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. "(High Point's) ability as a team and their toughness they've shown on the road winning at some places it's even more of a concern."

The trio of Wesson, senior point guard C.J. Jackson and graduate transfer Keyshawn Woods have played a big part in Ohio State exceeding expectations during the first two months of the season.

Wesson showed UCLA's big front line how much of a force he can be in the paint. The 6-foot-9, 270-pounder leads Ohio State in scoring (16.4 points per game) and rebounding (7.1 boards per game).

Jackson is averaging 13.1 points per game after scoring 22 against UCLA and Woods played a near-flawless game against the Bruins with a career-high 10 assists and no turnovers. Woods leads the Big Ten in assists-to-turnovers ratio at plus-3.6 (40 assists, 11 turnovers)

"It's always a good thing when you're winning," Jackson said. "You can't really complain too much, but I feel like we have a long way to go. December is not when you want to be at your best. It's a long season. We have to finish this part right against High Point."

High Point (6-6) might not be a familiar name to most college basketball fans, but many will recognize Panthers coach Tubby Smith, who was at Minnesota for six seasons as well as Kentucky, Georgia, Tulsa and Texas Tech. Smith has a career record of 3-8 against Ohio State.

High Point had a three-game winning streak broken last Saturday with a 74-59 loss to Richmond in the Events DC Holiday Hoops Festival in Washington, D.C. The Panthers shot just 18.8 percent from 3-point range and 52 percent from the free-throw line and committed 14 turnovers.

"We just need to take care of the basketball better and also need to shoot the ball better," Smith said.

Jahaad Proctor leads High Point with 22.3 points per game and has scored 20 or more points in eight of his last nine games, including a game-high 23 against Richmond. Brandonn Kamga, who is averaging 15.3 points per game, has hit two buzzer-beaters this season in wins over North Carolina Wesleyan and Valparaiso.

"I think High Point and Cincinnati are two of the most physical nonconference teams that we play," Holtmann said. "We need to play well. They're a good team."

High Point hasn't faced a ranked opponent since it last visited Ohio State in 2014 and lost, 97-43.

Updated December 28, 2018

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