Ohio State fends off late rally from Minnesota, advances to B1G Tournament quarterfinals
The ending didn’t go exactly how Chris Holtmann would’ve liked, but Ohio State escaped Lucas Oil Stadium with a win on Thursday afternoon. Barely.
Ohio State owned a 14-point lead with 2:30 left in the game and appeared to be on cruise control heading into the quarterfinal matchup against Purdue on Friday. But Minnesota didn’t throw in the towel. The Golden Gophers outscored the Buckeyes 19-9 down the stretch and even pulled within 1 point at 75-74. Ohio State hit some key free throws down the stretch and was able to avoid the scare from Minnesota, winning 79-75.
Five Buckeyes were in double figures for the game, led by Justice Sueing and Duane Washington Jr., both scoring 16 points. E.J. Liddell got 14, Kyle Young added 11 and C.J. Walker chipped in 10 off the bench. Musa Jallow also contributed 8 points in the victory.
Holtmann’s team came out of the locker room rolling, building an early 13-0 lead on Minnesota. The Gophers made a few runs to close the gap throughout the game, but the Bucks never relinquished the lead.
Minnesota’s bright spot was the guard play of Marcus Carr and Jamal Mashburn Jr. Carr led the way for the Gophers with 24 points while Mashburn scored 18. Tre Williams ended the game with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
Ohio State now advances to Friday’s round of the B1G Tournament and will play Purdue. The Boilermakers swept the regular season series against the Buckeyes.