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December 16, 2006
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INDIANAPOLIS - Greg Oden dominated the middle in his hometown Saturday, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in 27 minutes as No. 4 Ohio State routed Cincinnati 72-50 on Saturday.
It was the most lopsided victory margin in the Wooden Tradition, which dates to 2000. The previous record was Cincinnati's 79-59 win over Purdue in 2004.
In the first meeting between the schools since the 1962 national championship game, Oden made sure it was no contest by nearly posting a double-double in the first half before spending much of the second half on the bench.
The Bearcats tried to stay away from the freshman center, choosing instead to rely on perimeter shooting. It didn't work.
Cincinnati shot a miserable 18.8 percent from the field in the first half. The Bearcats failed to make a field goal over the last 9:44 when Ohio State outscored them 26-2 to take a 42-14 lead.
The Bearcats missed all 13 of their 3-point attempts in their lowest-scoring half of the season and missed five more in the second half before Branden Miller finally made one with 6 minutes left.
Meanwhile, Oden, the two-time national high school player of the year, thrived despite playing with a heavy wrap on his surgically repaired right wrist.
Using his 7-foot, 270-pound frame and nifty hands, Oden unleashed an impressive repertoire of post moves, dunks and tip-ins on offense. At halftime, he had 10 points and eight rebounds, and he was so good defensively the Bearcats didn't dare challenge him.
Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin spent almost the entire halftime break trying to devise a new strategy. That failed, too.
After Deonta Vaughn scored on a layup to end the Bearcats field goal drought at 9:57, Oden responded with another catch-and-dunk before hitting a 10-foot hook shot make it 46-16.
Oden was 6-of-7 from the field, missing his first field goal attempt in three games and ending his streak of consecutive baskets at 17, eight short of the NCAA's Division I record set by Ray Voelkel of American University in 1978.