Lyle leads Ohio State to 64-44 win against Mercer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) JaQuan Lyle scored 12 of 18 points in the second half when Ohio State pulled away for a 64-44 win against Mercer on Tuesday.

The Buckeyes (7-5), winners of three straight, also got 13 points from Jae'Sean Tate and 12 by Keita Bates-Diop.

Ohio State started the first five minutes of the second half on a 13-4 run to move ahead 38-28.

Trevor Thompson opened the scoring with a thunderous rebound slam and Lyle and Bates-Diop had 3-point plays.

Coming off a 74-67 win against then-No. 4 Kentucky on Saturday where the Buckeyes hit 9 of 18 3-pointers, they missed their first 16 long-range attempts and finished 3 for 22 (14 percent). Mercer (9-3) was 3 for 18 (17 percent).

Ohio State led 25-24 at the half but was 11 for 29 (37.9 percent) from the floor and committed 12 turnovers, one more than the entire game against the Wildcats.

The Buckeyes had just four in the second half.

Desmond Ringer had 18 points for the Bears, who led 20-13 before Lyle scored six and lobbed to Bates-Diop for a dunk to cap the first-half scoring with 2:15 left.

Mercer won 69-66 in overtime at Arkansas on Saturday.

Ohio State freshman forward Mickey Mitchell made his debut with 1:57 left in the first half. He had not been allowed to play, but could practice, while the NCAA determined his eligibility. He was given approval on Thursday.

He had three rebounds in eight minutes and missed his only shot.

TIP-INS

Mercer: Despite the loss, the Bears are tied for 11th in the nation with 36 road wins since the start of the 2011-12 season. . Mercer's 9-2 start was its best since 1984-85.

Ohio State: The only previous meeting with Mercer was exactly 11 years ago when the Buckeyes won 102-77 in Value City Arena. Ohio State is 14-1 vs. the Southern Conference.

UP NEXT

Mercer: The Bears play their final nonconference game Dec. 30 at Kennesaw State.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes host South Carolina State on Sunday before opening the Big Ten season.