Bruce Thornton pours in 25 as Ohio State crushes CMU

Bruce Thornton scored 19 of his 25 points in the first half as Ohio State defeated Central Michigan 88-61 on Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio.

Thornton, who entered the night averaging 17.2 points, hit 7 of 9 field goals before halftime, including 3 of 5 from the 3-point range, to help the Buckeyes (6-1) to a 41-29 lead en route to their fifth straight win.

Ohio State sophomore Felix Okpara had a career-high 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He made all six field-goal attempts, five of them dunks.

Jemal Davis scored 15 points and Brian Taylor and Paul McMillan IV each had 12 points for Central Michigan (2-5).

The Chippewas have dropped all three of their games against Power 5 schools this season, having previously lost 89-59 to Oklahoma in the season opener and 94-67 to Florida State on Nov. 13.

The last time Central Michigan played a Big Ten opponent, the Chippewas defeated Michigan 63-61 in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Dec. 29, 2022.

The Chippewas stayed close early in the Wednesday game before Thornton took control. Ohio State was ahead 22-21 before he scored seven unanswered points to spark a 15-0 run to make it 37-21.

The streak was stopped by Anthony Pritchard’s jumper with 2:45 remaining in the half.

Central Michigan was unable to make a run in the second half and fell behind by as many as 30, 64-34.

The Buckeyes won both games against Mid-American Conferences schools this season, having downed Western Michigan 73-56 on Nov. 19.

Ohio State has won its past 29 games against unranked nonconference opponents at home. That is the longest active streak in the Big Ten. The last loss to an unranked nonconference opponent at home was a 72-62 loss to Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 28, 2018.

The Buckeyes open Big Ten play Sunday at home against Minnesota. The Chippewas host Valparaiso on Dec. 6.