Kaleb Wesson of Ohio State grabs a rebound in their 64-56 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday
Kaleb Wesson of Ohio State grabs a rebound in their 64-56 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday

COLUMBUS — The Buckeyes kicked off the 2019-2020 men's basketball season with a 64-56 win over in-state rival Cincinnati on Wednesday. Junior Kyle Young had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, a career high for the forward from Canton.

This is his kind of a game where he could really impact it,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said of Young. “He’s healthy and I think that really matters with a guy who his legs are so important to him. Kyle’s has one thing on his mind when he plays, and that is Ohio State winning. That’s the only thing that matters to him. That’s true of all of our guys, but I think you see particularly in a game against an in-state rival, that means something to him.”

It was a rough start for Ohio State on offense and trailed 6-0 early in the first half. They struggled at the stripe as well, going 0-for-5 in the first 20 minutes.

Cincinnati senior Jarron Cumberland played a key role to start the game and led the Bearcats with 13 points, but it was his physical defensive play that held the Buckeyes scoreless.

A dunk by Young broke the Cincinnati scoring streak but Ohio State continued miss shots. The Buckeyes shot 31-percent in the first half and trailed 26-19 as they headed into the break.

Kaleb Wesson played 35-minutes, a career-high for the standout junior from Westerville. He finished the game with eight points and 11 rebounds. Wesson played most of the second half in foul trouble but still took two critical charging calls as Ohio State pulled ahead in the second half.

“Just being able to grind out that win is something a lot of teams can’t do,” Wesson said. “That feeling, doing it with a young group like we’ve got, a grind-it-out game, everybody has bumps and bruises, you cheer about that.”

The Buckeyes outscored Cincinnati 45-30 in the final 20:00 of action. Young ended the game with 13 rebounds, seven on the offensive side of the ball.

“Proud of this first win. Got to find a way to grow and be a lot better. I’m sure it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing to people,” Holtmann said taking a dramatic pause. “But I don’t really care.”

Score by Half - Total

Cincinnati 26 30 - 56

Ohio State 19 45 - 64


Cincinnati 56

Jarron Cumberland 13, Keith Williams 13, Jaume Sorolla 6, Chris Vogt 4, Tre Scott 3, Jeremiah Davenport 3, Jaevin Cumberland 3, Zach Harvey 1

Ohio State

Kyle Young 14, D.J. Carton 9, Kaleb Wesson 8, C.J. Walker 8, Andre Wesson 7, Duane Washington 7, Luther Muhammad 6, E.J. Liddell 5