COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State found its energy after a sluggish performance earlier in the week, and the Buckeyes needed every bit of it to beat Providence.JaQuan Lyle scored 20 points and JaeSean Tate added 14 as Ohio State held off the Friars 72-67 on Thursday night.Ohio State (3-0) looked sharper after barely surviving North Carolina Central earlier in the week and won this game despite the efforts of Rodney Bullock, who was 5 for 9 from beyond the 3-point line and scored 27 points for Providence (1-1).It just seemed like we had more flow to us, Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.Trevor Thompson added 12 points for the Buckeyes in their opener of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an eight-game series featuring Big Ten teams against the Big East.Indiana transfer Emmitt Holt scored 11 for Providence, and Jalen Lindsey booked 10 as the Friars as a team shot just 34 percent from the floor. The Buckeyes made exactly half their shots.Providence, searching for an identity this season after the loss of its two best players to the NBA, couldnt overcome the Ohio State lead but was still in the game in the final few minutes.Bullock closed it to 50-49 at the 10-minute mark with a 3-pointer, but the Buckeyes went on a 9-0 run over the next 1:28 to lengthen the lead again. The Friars pulled within two at the 4-minute mark with an Isiah Jackson 3-pointer, but a series of fouls put Buckeyes at the line and allowed them to build the lead and hang onto it.We fought back a couple different times, Providence coach Ed Cooley said. I think we were down by double digits two different times and found a way to get back. We lost a lot last year, and to grind it out and make it a competitive game right down to the wire, Im really proud of our group.The Buckeyes led the cold-shooting Friars 38-28 at the half, highlighted by a 9-2 run that erased a 17-16 Providence lead, and punctuated with a Keita Bates-Diop dunk off a steal and a 3-pointer from Lyle. Thats the last time the Friars would lead.Ohio State dominated inside, scoring 42 in the paint against Providences 20.I thought we did a good job finishing down there, Matta said. Its been a little bit of a problematic area for us. Our guys did a good job of getting the ball where we wanted it.BIG PICTUREProvidence: The departures of superstar Kris Dunn and sophomore Ben Bentil to the NBA left Cooley without a proven, experienced player around which he could build this years team, although Bullock stepped up to carry the load Thursday. Some of his teammates are going to have to do more for the Friars to be successful.Ohio State: After struggling on Monday, Ohio State triumphed in their first true test of the season. The Buckeyes were able to hold off Providences scrappy second-half charges and keep the lead.We were up by 12 points at one point, but they went on a run, Lyle said. This team last year probably would have folded and end up losing the game. It shows our maturity and how much we have grown up. We will continue to build off this game.INJURY REPORTBates-Diop went down awkwardly with his leg bent behind him about six minutes into the second half. He stayed down awhile, but eventually was helped to his feet and walked to the locker room under his own power. Matta said Bates-Diop was day-to-day with an ankle injury.UP NEXT:Providence: Returns home to play Grambling State on Saturday.Ohio State: Plays Western Carolina at home Monday night. 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Quinlan, 24, was not immediately available for comment. The six-foot-three quarterback threw 19 touchdown passes to lead McMaster to an 8-0 record last season before losing to Laval in the Vanier Cup. The Woodslee, Ont., native earned the Crighton Trophy as Canadian university footballs top player and was named CIS male athlete of the year. Popp said Quinlan had madee his travel plans to Montreal and seemed eager to attend camp only two weeks ago, but "all of a sudden, he changed his mind.dddddddddddd" Canadian quarterbacks are rare in the CFL, and those who are drafted are often switched to other positions. But the Alouettes wanted to give Quinlan a chance to make the team as a quarterback. Only last week, Popp lauded the prospects deep passing ability during a pre-camp conference call. Montreals starter is 40-year-old Anthony Calvillo and the club signed veteran Quinton Porter to be the backup. They also have third-stringer Josh Neiswander as last years backup Adrian McPherson is no longer with the club. Popp said he will have to sign another quarterback before camp, which opens Sunday at Bishops University in Sherbrooke, Que. Quinlan and Acadia quarterback Kyle Graves attended Montreals camp last year but both were cut. The Alouettes also announced David Messier, former media relations chief for the InterBox boxing promotion company, has been hired as director of communications and branding. ' ' '