Former role players help OSU overcome its poor shooting.
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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