NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The talented backcourt tandem of Scoonie Penn and Michael Redd picked up where it left off last year as third-seeded Ohio State began the road back to the Final Four.
Penn scored 23 points and Redd added 21, leading the Buckeyes to an 87-61 rout of 14th-seeded Appalachian State in a first-round South Region game.
Ohio State (23-6) bounced back from a first-round loss in the Big Ten Conference tournament and never was seriously threatened by Appalachian State, the Southern Conference champion.
Penn and Redd scored the first two baskets of the game as the Buckeyes raced to leads of 6-0 and 14-3. A 3-pointer by Redd with 12 1/2 minutes to go in the first half gave Ohio State a 23-7 advantage.
The Mountaineers got within 27-13 on a 3-pointer by Matt McMahon, but Penn answered with a 3-pointer to spark an 11-0 run that effectively ended it.
George Reese added 19 points and eight assists for the Buckeyes, who extended their first-round winning streak to eight games and will face the Miami on Sunday.
Tyson Patterson netted 15 points and Rufus Leach had 11 off the bench for Appalachian State (23-9), which has lost in the first round in each of its two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Ohio State never let up, shooting nearly 58 percent (34-of-59) from the field, including 9-of-15 from 3-point range. Redd also had five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
The Mountaineers had been ranked ninth in the country in field goal percentage but shot 30 percent (9-of-30) in the first half and 39 percent (23-of-59) overall. Those numbers are closer to the ones posted by the Buckeyes, who were fourth in the nation in defense, allowing opponents to shoot 36.8 percent.
Despite a distinct lack of size, Appalachian State battled to a 33-33 stalemate on the boards as Buddy Davis grabbed 12 rebounds to go with eight points.