The game looked like it was over at halftime. Ohio State was trailing No. 1 Duke 43-30 through the first 20 minutes, a deficit that appeared too large to overcome for a Buckeye team that had already fallen to Xavier and Florida this season.

Instead, the Buckeyes bowed up in the second half.

Zed Key finished with a game-high 20 points and EJ Liddell posted a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead Ohio State to an impressive comeback victory over the Blue Devils. The win gave the B1G a 6-2 advantage in the B1G-ACC Challenge, needing 8 total victories to secure conference superiority.

Duke’s largest lead was at 15 points, building a 49-34 advantage in the first 2 minutes of the second half. With less than 8 minutes to play, the Blue Devils owned a 62-51 lead, appearing to pull away from Ohio State.

Ohio State continued to chip away at that lead, though, thanks to strong play from Key and Liddell in the post. The Buckeyes ended the game on a 12-0 run in the final 4:29 to pick up the win.

“Players win games, and we had a number of guys make plays down the stretch,” head coach Chris Holtmann said after the win. “I thought our guys showed a lot of resiliency. Bottom line.”

The Buckeyes improved to 5-2 with the win over Duke, botching one of the more impressive victories of the young college basketball season.

The Buckeyes travel to State College to play Penn State on Sunday.

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