After an opening-round loss to San Diego State 88-77, the Buckeyes bounced back with a huge blowout victory over in-state rival Cincinnati 81-53 to set up their matchup against Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders took a similar route as the Buckeyes in Maui, losing to No. 10 Creighton in the first round 76-65 and then absolutely stomping the lowly Louisville Cardinals 70-38.
The Buckeyes were 4-1 entering this game after defeating overmatched opponents Robert Morris, Charleston Southern, and Eastern Illinois before heading to the Maui Invitational.
The Buckeyes opened the game on fire, jumping out to a 13-7 lead and extending it to 23-10 with just over 12 minutes left in the game. As they do, the Red Raiders fought back, cutting the deficit to two at 33-31.
The Buckeyes ended the first half with a couple of made buckets and took a 41-37 lead into halftime. The Buckeyes are 4-0 when leading at the half this season and 0-1 when trailing heading into this contest.
In the second half, Justice Sueing picked up where he left off and just like the first half, started the scoring for the Buckeyes in the second half
At the under-16 media timeout, the Buckeyes led 46-41.
After back-to-back three-pointers from Bruce Thornton and Justice Sueing, the Buckeyes extended the lead to 11 at 52-41. Texas Tech responded with five straight points to cut the deficit to six.
With just under 10 minutes left in the game, Texas Tech and coach Mark Adams called a timeout trailing the Buckeyes 59-52.
After Texas Tech cut the deficit to 62-58, Justice Sueing was fouled shooting a three-pointer and made all three free throws to get the Buckeye lead back to seven and putting Sueing’s point total at 24.
An offensive rebound by Texas Tech’s Daniel Batcho and a putback made the score 70-65 with just under two minutes remaining in the game and the Buckeyes still leading.
Justice Sueing was able to get an offensive rebound and make the score 72-65 on the other end, giving him 31 points. He scored 13 straight points for the Buckeyes late in the second half.
If you missed the game because of the time or for any reason, here are some moments and storylines that made a difference.
Sean McNeil was fouled with 43 seconds left in the game and made both free throws to make the score 76-69.
Sean McNeil hit four free throws late and secured the win, finishing with a 80-73 win.
A familiar face
All 2020 Buckeye hoops fans remember Max Abmas and Oral Roberts, as the 15th-seeded Oral Robert defeated the second-seeded Buckeyes in the first round of the 2020 NCAA tournament.
One of the major factors in that game was forward Kevin Obanor, who scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Obanor transferred to Texas Tech after the Oral Roberts tournament run that ended in the Sweet 16 and in his second game against the Buckeyes, recorded 11 first-half points and finished with 19 points in 35 minutes.
Hot shooting Buckeyes
Ohio State opened up the game with a 23-10 lead while knocking down 6 of their first 10 shots. They cooled off, knocking down only 5 of their next 14. Brice Sensabaugh and Bruce Thornton hit five of the team’s six three-pointers in this contest. Thornton also hit four of his eight three-point attempts in the first two games in Maui.
The triple threat
A picture of Sean McNeil. pic.twitter.com/JN4hXgzI6R— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) November 23, 2022
Of the Buckeyes' first 28 points, Sean McNeil, Justice Sueing, and Brice Sensabaugh recorded 25 of them. The only other player to score was a three-pointer from Bruce Thornton.
McNeil scored 22 points in the Maui Invitational opener against San Diego State, including 20 and Brice Sensabaugh recorded 17 points in both of the first two games and came into the invitational averaging just over 17 points per game.
Ice gets in on the scoring
It has been a tough start for Oklahoma State transfer Isaac Likekele, but he was able to nail his first field goal of the season in the first half of this game. He has been solid on defense and getting others involved in the scoring, but it has been a slow start to his season offensively.
Home sweet home
If you watched any of the coverage or the games of the Maui Invitational, you will know that Justice Sueing is indeed from Hawaii. This tournament was his first time being back in a couple of years and he was able to do the 94 feet with Jay Bilas and also show off some sweet ukulele skills.
Sueing also had his best game of the season against the Red Raiders, recording 33 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and just one turnover.
Free throws are free
The Buckeyes brought their free throw shooting shoes to Maui, as they shot 14-for-15 from the free throw line against San Diego State in round one and 15-for-18 from the free throw line against Cincinnati in round two. Against Texas Tech today, they shot 18-for-18 from the free throw line, making their total free throw shooting on the island 47-51.
say his name with us... JUSTICE SUEING pic.twitter.com/3oJn3p1yof— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) November 23, 2022
Justice Sueing was the player of the game for the Buckeyes in this one, as he scored 15 straight points for the Buckeyes late and scored a career-high 33 points.
The Buckeyes will head to one of the best sites in all of college hoops, as they participate in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and head to Cameron Indoor Stadium to play the No. 8 Duke Blue Devils at 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
The Buckeyes defeated the top-ranked Blue Devils last season 71-66. Ohio State center Zed Key finished with 20 points.