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Gayle leads Ohio State past Rutgers 73-51 in regular-season finale

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Roddy Gayle Jr. scored 14 points and Ohio State never trailed in a 73-51 romp over Rutgers on Sunday to close out the Big Ten Conference regular season.

Gayle made 6 of 11 shots with two 3-pointers for the Buckeyes (19-12, 9-11), adding five rebounds. Bruce Thornton totaled 11 points, six assists and five rebounds. Felix Okpara and Jamison Battle both scored 10 with Okpara grabbing eight boards.

Aundre Hyatt led Rutgers with 11 points. Clifford Omoruyi finished with 10 points and seven rebounds before fouling out with 7:12 remaining in his final home game for the Scarlet Knights (15-16, 7-13). Rutgers has lost three in a row and six of its last seven heading into the conference tournament that begins on Wednesday.

Battle and Gayle buried 3-pointers to begin the game as Ohio State jumped out to an 11-1 lead. Thornton and Okpara had back-to-back baskets and the Buckeyes lead was still 10 at 25-15 with 5:18 remaining. Omoruyi had a three-point play and hit two free throws and Hyatt's layup closed out a 13-5 run to get the Scarlet Knights within 30-28 at halftime.

Rutgers trailed 36-33 after Omoruyi made the second of two foul shots with 15:44 remaining. Battle answered with a 3-pointer, Gayle added a layup and a 3-pointer and Ohio State led 44-33. Thornton and Scotty Middleton sank back-to-back shots from beyond the arc and the Buckeyes took their biggest lead to that point, 52-35 with 9:09 left.

Ohio State's lead grew as big as 27 as the Buckeyes sank half of their 48 shots from the floor, including 9 of 20 from 3-point distance.

Rutgers shot 27.3% on its home floor (15 for 55) and made just 4 of 18 from distance.

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