CLEVELAND, Ohio (Sports Network) – David Lighty was a perfect 7-of-7 from beyond the arc en route to 25 points, as the Ohio State Buckeyes annihilated the George Mason Patriots, 98-66, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
Jared Sullinger and William Buford each added 18 points for the Buckeyes (34-2), who set a school tournament record with 16 three-pointers.
Jon Diebler tallied 13 points for Ohio State, which advanced to the third round with a 75-46 victory over Texas-San Antonio on Friday.
The No. 1 seed in the East Region, Ohio State will next take on fourth-seeded Kentucky in the Sweet 16.
“I’ve seen a lot of them, especially last year. We have 24-point runs. 22- point runs,” Lighty said. “But, I mean, every time I looked up everybody was hitting a jumper or a three or something. Like Coach said, just our speed and pace and us sharing the ball, especially with [Aaron] Craft having 15 assists, it’s unbelievable.”
Cam Long finished with 16 points for the Patriots (27-7), who beat Villanova, 61-57, in the second round on Friday. Luke Hancock made the go-ahead three- pointer late in that game, but Hancock was not with the team on Sunday due to an undisclosed illness.
Long played in the 132nd game of his career on Sunday, eclipsing the school record of 131 set by Will Thomas three years ago in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Ryan Pearson had 13 points for George Mason, which captured the attention of the college basketball world with a Final Four run in 2006.
“We definitely could have used him tonight, don’t get me wrong,” Long said of Hancock. “He’s a great player. And we actually tried to use that as motivation. I mean, we tried to do it for him. I mean, we came out very strong. But our Coach always said that was a great team.”
George Mason started the game on an 11-2 run, but it didn’t take long for Ohio State to catch fire.
The Buckeyes responded with 10 straight points to grab a 12-11 edge just five minutes in.
Holding a 26-22 lead with over 8 1/2 minutes left, Ohio State essentially put the game away with a 26-4 run to close out the half. Sullinger and Diebler each tallied nine points during the surge, with the latter making a three- pointer before the break to make it a 52-26 game.
The top overall seed in the tournament cruised to victory in the second half.
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