COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State coach Thad Matta got his 300th career win even without his star.
Evan Ravenel scored a career-high 11 points in place of Jared Sullinger, and No. 2 Ohio State beat Texas Pan-American 64-35 Saturday.Sullinger had back spasms during the Buckeyes' win Tuesday against Duke (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) and will be re-evaluated before Ohio State (8-0) faces Kansas (No. 14, No. 15) in Lawrence on Dec. 10.Deshaun Thomas also had 11 points for the Buckeyes.Matta improved to 300-88 in 12 seasons, the past eight at Ohio State, where he is 198-57.Matta is a bit of an expert on back injuries, having undergone several surgeries. He saw Sullinger's MRI Friday, which showed an aggravated disk."I feel at that point I'm Dr. Thad because of all the rooms I've been in, all the operating rooms, recovery rooms," he said. "Just as they were going through the testing I'm going, 'That's good, that's good, that's good' and saying that from my own experiences."Matta said Sullinger will be re-evaluated Monday or Tuesday, but believes the injury won't linger throughout the season. Sullinger has been averaging 19.1 points and 10.3 rebounds.Jared Maree scored 13 points for the Broncs (2-7), who have lost the first three of a four-game road trip.Texas-Pan American coach Ryan Marks was disappointed Sullinger was not in the lineup."I think it was some mixed emotions because I think a lot of our guys would have like to say, 'Hey, I played against that guy,' two or three years down the road," he said.Ravenel, a transfer from Boston College, also tied a career high with seven rebounds for the Buckeyes. He entered the game averaging 4.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 11.6 minutes."I know I'm not Jared Sullinger," Ravenel said. "Me and Jared are two different players."Ohio State took a 31-14 lead into halftime when Aaron Craft hit a looping runner at the buzzer in an otherwise tepid shooting effort from both teams. The Buckeyes shot 46 percent from the floor while the Broncs shot 25 percent and had nearly as many turnovers (11) as attempts (16).Matta is looking forward to his next win."I'm not going to get caught up on 300," he said. "I'd just really like to get 301 next Saturday."