COLUMBUS, Ohio -

No. 4 Ohio State 70, Northern Kentucky 43: Sophomore LaQuinton Ross set career highs with 22 points and eight rebounds off the bench as the host Buckeyes overcame a rough start to dominate the Norse.

Deshaun Thomas added 14 points and eight rebounds for Ohio State (5-1), which improved to 72-2 at home against non-conference foes under coach Thad Matta.

Northern Kentucky (0-5) – in its first season as a Division I program – showed itself well in the first half, pulling within 18-14 with 9:01 left on a 3-pointer by Eshaunte Jones. However, the Norse did not make another field goal for a 7:05 stretch while Ohio State scored 18 of the next 21 points.

The Buckeyes – who shot just 30.3 percent in the first half – continued to increase their 14-point halftime lead over the final 20 minutes, eventually stretching the lead to as many as 30 points in the final minutes.

Jalen Billups finished with 11 points and nine rebounds to pace the Norse.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Ross, who doubled his previous career high in scoring, had 18 points and four rebounds over his entire freshman season. … Ohio State improved to 13-0 against members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. … Northern Kentucky, which is halfway through its season-opening 10-game stretch away from home, fell to 6-26 all-time against Division I opponents.