Tanner Holden sank a 3-pointer, his only points of the game, from 35 feet at the buzzer to give No. 25 Ohio State a 67-66 win against Rutgers on Thursday in Columbus, Ohio.
Holden was in front of the Ohio State bench when he tossed the desperation shot.
Zed Key had a career-high 22 points plus 14 rebounds, Brice Sensabaugh scored 13 points and Bruce Thornton had 10 for the Buckeyes (7-2, 1-0 Big Ten).
Cliff Omoruyi had 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Rutgers (6-3, 1-1). Aundre Hyatt added 13 points.
The score was tied at 61 when Rutgers’ Cam Spencer (11 points, five assists) hit a baseline shot for a 63-61 lead with 1:44 left. Thornton hit one of two free throws for the Buckeyes to make it 63-62.
After Hyatt missed a shot, Thornton got the rebound with 23.7 seconds left. Sensabaugh’s shot was blocked by Omoruyi, and Sensabaugh fouled Paul Mulcahy going for the rebound with 7.7 seconds remaining.
Mulcahy made both from the line for the three-point lead. Thornton was fouled and hit both shots to cut it to 65-64 with 5.8 seconds to play.
Rutgers’ Caleb McConnell made one of two free throws with five seconds left to make it 66-64, but the Buckeyes got the rebound of the second attempt to set up the winner.
It was Omoruyi who kept Rutgers close at the start of the of the second half by scoring the Scarlet Knights’ first nine points to trail the Buckeyes 40-38.
Key made it 42-38 with two free throws, but after McConnell cut it to 42-40 the teams were not separated by more than two points until Mulcahy’s foul shots at the end.
An exchange of point streaks left the Buckeyes with a 31-29 halftime lead behind Key’s 15 points and eight rebounds, six coming off the offensive glass. Rutgers was down 11 before ending the half on a 9-0 run.
The Buckeyes next play Dec. 17 against North Carolina in New York. Rutgers hosts Seton Hall on Sunday.
–Field Level Media