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Top 25 basketball: Breakout stars lead No. 8 Buckeyes

Published November 20, 2013 10:57 pm

Former role players help OSU overcome its poor shooting.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Columbus, Ohio • Amir Williams and Shannon Scott were McDonald's All-Americans in high school.

For most of their Ohio State career, however, they have been merely side orders.

Just in time, they're stepping into the spotlight for the eighth-ranked Buckeyes.

Williams scored a career-high 16 points and Scott added 13 and matched a personal best with nine rebounds to lead Ohio State to a 63-52 victory over American University on Wednesday night.

"I've been working my tail off during the offseason and in practices as well just to have to some go-to moves in the post," said Williams, a 6-foot-10 junior who is averaging only 3 points and 3 rebounds a game for his first two seasons. "It's looking like it's finally starting to come alive. I'm starting to feel a lot more confident. Once I see that ball going in the basket, I want to get the ball again to try to make another basket. It's a confidence thing. I hope it skyrockets."

Scott has spent his first two years as a defensive option if Aaron Craft got into foul trouble. He also was averaging 3 points a game but now is hitting for 12 points a game.

"We came in all summer and worked on our game," Scott said, speaking of himself and Williams. "We've got a better attitude this year as well. We know we have to be guys on this team that make plays happen."

The Buckeyes (4-0) struggled all night to make shots, finishing 20 of 56 from the field. They were rescued by Williams' strong play inside — he hit 6 of 9 shots from the field, 4 of 5 free throws. —

Wednesday's Top 25 scores

• No. 8 Ohio State 63, American 52

• No. 14 Wichita State 77, Tulsa 54

• No. 20 Baylor 69, Charleston Southern 64

• No. 21 Iowa State 90, BYU 88