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Ohio State Cruises Past Loyola, Md. 78-59

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Aaron Craft of the Ohio State Buckeyes passes the ball against the Loyola Greyhounds during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 15, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Craft of the Ohio State Buckeyes passes the ball against the Loyola Greyhounds during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 15, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Deshaun Thomas scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead second-seeded Ohio State to a 78-59 victory over Loyola, Md., on Thursday night in the second round of the East Regional.

Jared Sullinger added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Buckeyes (28-7), who dominated the smaller Greyhounds inside, finishing with a 49-24 rebound advantage.

Ohio State will play seventh-seeded Gonzaga in the third round on Saturday at the Consol Energy Center. The Bulldogs beat 10th-seeded West Virginia 77-54.

The Buckeyes, playing on the same court top-seeded Syracuse struggled to beat North Carolina-Asheville hours earlier, twice took a 15-point lead in the first half. The Greyhounds got within 42-31 at halftime but the Buckeyes went on to lead by as many as 20 in the second half.

Erik Etherly had 19 points for the Greyhounds (24-9), the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champions, who were in the tournament for the second time and first since 1994.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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