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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A delay and evacuation after a fire alarm couldn't deter Ohio State from winning its fourth straight game when Jae'Sean Tate scored 19 points in an 80-67 win against Appalachian State at Value City Arena on Saturday.
Keita Bates-Diop added 18 points, Kaleb Wesson had 16, and Kam Williams 11 for the Buckeyes (9-3), who also opened the season with four consecutive victories.
A warning siren went off with Ohio State ahead 48-33 with 17:47 left in the second half and Appalachia State's Ronshad Shabazz at the free throw line, and an announcement was made to the crowd of 12,616 to clear the building.
The teams retreated to to their locker rooms.
"We didn't know what was going on. We were in shock," Wesson said.
It was determined that the failure of an exhaust fan in a concessions stand set off the fire alarm. The all-clear was given after nine minutes and play resumed after about 16 minutes.
"Just your typical college basketball game here tonight," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann joked, before adding that the game took a backseat at the moment to the security of the fans and the players.
Appalachian State immediately scored six straight points when play resumed, but the Buckeyes put the game away with a 9-0 run to make it 67-47 before the Mountaineers made a late push.
Ronshad Shabazz scored 15 points and Delaware, Ohio, native Griffin Kinney had 14 for the Mountaineers (5-7) in their third straight defeat.
Appalachian State was averaging 87.6 points per game but were blanketed by the Buckeyes' defense into 3 for 19 (15.8 percent) shooting from 3-point range.
"They completely took us out of the way we played," Mountaineers coach Jim Fox said. "Our guys are not a selfish team but our players were selfish today with the lack of ball movement."
Appalachian State: The Mountaineers are being challenged by their nonconference schedule that has them playing only four of 12 games at home through Saturday. They are 0-5 in true away games and 1-2 at neutral sites. Appalachian State was picked to finish 11th of 12 teams in the Sun Belt Conference preseason poll. "I hate to lose but learning from this game will help us down the road," Fox said.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes found their long-range touch in the first three of their four-game winning streak when they made 47.9 percent of their 3-pointers. Against the Mountaineers they hit 21.4 percent (3 for 14).
Tate, a senior, and the redshirt junior Bates-Diop will make another appearance in Value City Arena on Sunday when they receive their diplomas as part of the autumn commencement ceremonies. Tate's degree is in sports industry. Bates-Diop majored in economics.
Ohio State finished final exams earlier in the week, much to the relief of Williams, "It was very, very stressful to say the least. I had to check on one of my grades before I came in here (interview room). I'm good."
BY THE NUMBERS
Shabazz moved to 28th on the Mountaineers' career scoring list with 1,129 points, surpassing the 1,114 of Mel Hubbard. . Tate eclipsed Ronnie Stoke's 1,240 points to become 33rd on the OSU all-time list with 1,254.
Appalachian State: The Mountaineers play at Hampton on Wednesday in their final test before opening Sun Belt Conference play with home games vs. Texas State on Dec. 29 and UT Arlington on Dec. 31.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes complete a four-game homestand vs. The Citadel on Tuesday before traveling to New Orleans to play No. 7 North Carolina in the CBSSports Classic on Dec. 23.
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