clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ohio State men lose to Rutgers 68-64 in overtime, drop fourth-straight game

Both teams played tough on the defensive end in the latest installment of this growing rivalry.

Ohio State v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Ohio State Buckeyes (10-7, 2-4) fell to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (13-5, 5-2) in what was a battle from the beginning at the RAC Center, home of the Scarlet Knights. The two teams went back and forth throughout the second half leading to a bonus five minutes of overtime basketball. Ultimately, the Scarlet Knights pulled out the victory, earning a 68-64 victory. The loss was the fourth-straight for the Buckeyes, who haven’t won since New Year’s Day in Evanston, Ill. against Northwestern.

In the first matchup, the Buckeyes won a last-second buzzer-beater from almost half-court in what ended up being a controversial finish as it seems Holden might have stepped out of bounds and not established himself fully back in bounds before touching the ball.

Buckeye freshman Brice Sensabaugh entered the game as the Buckeyes' leading scorer, averaging 16.8 points per game. Justice Sueing adds 14.8 points per game and Zed Key entered the game averaging 12.3 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game.

For Rutgers, Cam Spencer entered the game averaging 13.5 points per game and Cliff Omoruyi averages a double-double at 13.2 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game.

This one got off to a sluggish start, much to the favor of Rutgers as they enjoy playing those types of games, and both teams started 0-for-6 from the field. Rutgers's Caleb McConnell got the scoring started on a fast break layup and a back cut for a layup that gave Rutgers a 4-0 lead with just over 15 minutes left.

The Buckeyes brought in Zed Key and Brice Sensabaugh early off the bench and Key provided a spark early, scoring four quick points and two rebounds. Tanner Holden added a quick five points off the bench and the Buckeyes went on a 15-0 run to take a 15-4 lead.

Rutgers answered with a 7-0 run of their own to cut the Buckeye lead to 15-11. The Buckeyes have struggled shooting the three-pointer in recent contests, but over the first 12 minutes in this one, they were 4-for-7 with threes from McNeil, Sensabaugh, and Holden.

Rutgers got a three from steady guard Paul Mulcahy and at the under-8-minute media timeout, the Buckeyes led 20-14.

Both teams hit another scoring drought, as neither team scored for almost three minutes. Cam Spencer hit a three-pointer in the corner to break the drought and cut the Buckeye lead in half.

After some more missed shots, the Buckeyes were able to take a 23-20 lead into the half at the RAC Center.

Tanner Holden and Zed Key led the way for the Buckeyes in the first half, with Holden scoring seven points off the bench and Zed Key recording six points and five rebounds.

For Rutgers, Caleb McConnell had six points and Cam Spencer had five points.

To start the second half, Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell was whistled for an early technical foul and the Buckeyes scored the first points of the half at the free throw line from Sean McNeil.

Rutgers big man Cliff Omoruyi also picked up an early third foul and had to go to the bench just one minute into the second half.

After the teams traded buckets, the Buckeyes got a third three-pointer from Sean McNeil to take a 33-32 lead.

Justice Sueing got a bucket to give the Buckeyes the lead back at 35-34, but two free throws from Cliff Omoruyi made it 36-35. Rutgers would take a 38-35 lead, but the Buckeyes answered with a 9-0 run and five straight points from Sensabaugh to make the score 44-38. Rutgers answered with a quick 5-0 run of their own and cut the Buckeyes' lead to just one with just over nine minutes left in the game.

Rutgers was able to get to the line at an efficient rate in the second half, shooting 14-for-14 from the free throw line in the first 14 minutes of the second half.

Bruce Thornton knocked down a floater in the lane for the Buckeyes to give them a 46-45 lead. Both teams continued to trade buckets and an offensive rebound and putback from Felix Okpara gave the Buckeyes a 53-52 lead with 5:10 left in the game

Two free throws from Sensabaugh gave the Buckeyes a 55-53 lead with just under four minutes remaining.

A Rutgers jumper tied the game at 55-55 at the under-4 media timeout.

A lob and dunk by Mulcahy to Omoruyi gave Rutgers a 57-55 lead and forced an Ohio State timeout with 1:44 left in the game.

Sensabaugh tied the game at 57 with 40 seconds left in the game and after two missed baskets by Sensabaugh and Spencer, we were treated to some free basketball.

Ohio State was 0-1 in overtime after a loss to North Carolina at Madison Square Garden and Rutgers had not played an overtime game yet.

To start overtime, Sean McNeil picked up his fifth foul and had to take a seat for the rest of the game. One free throw from Rutgers and an offensive rebound and putback from Key gave Ohio State a 59-58 lead.

Rutgers led 60-59 with 1:50 left in overtime when Brice Sensabaugh was fouled shooting a jumper. He made both and gave the Buckeyes a one-point lead. Sensabaugh also recorded his second career and second straight double-double.

Cliff Omoruyi gave Rutgers the lead after a layup on the other end.

Marwot Mag drilled a three-pointer for Rutgers after a Buckeyes miss to make the score 65-61. Justice Sueing missed a three-pointer for Ohio State to pretty much end it.

Rutgers won 68-64.

Ohio State was led by Brice Sensabaugh and Sean McNeil, who finished with 20 and 11 points, respectively. Zed Key also finished with 11 points. Sensabaugh added 10 rebounds.

Rutgers was led by Cam Spencer, who finished with 21 points. Marwot Mag added 14 points.

Sinking ship

The Buckeyes came into this one on a three-game losing streak and just 1-3 in the month of January. After starting 2-0 in the conference with wins over Rutgers and at Northwestern, The Buckeyes lost to Purdue, Maryland, and Minnesota, the last-place team in the conference, at home.

The Buckeyes lost by two to Purdue, by three to Minnesota, and held a halftime lead against Maryland.

Uniforms for the Buckeyes

The Buckeyes have worn a series of different uniforms this season, but this choice was one that was made intentionally. The Buckeyes wore their home white uniforms with the script “Buckeyes,” a kit they have only worn once this year.

They wore these uniforms against Rutgers in their first game and the decision to do it again this time around, even though they were on the road, was an intentional one, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Adam Jardy.

Buckeye dominance

Even though Rutgers has been a pain to most Big Ten teams, the Buckeyes have had success against the Scarlet Knights. Ohio State is 11-4 against Rutgers all time, 7-0 at home and 4-2 at the RAC Center, which is pretty impressive considering it is one of the harder places to play.

Chris Holtmann came into this contest 7-2 against Rutgers.

New starting lineup

For the first time this season, the Buckeyes rolled out a starting lineup of Bruce Thornton, Isaac Likekele, Sean McNeil, Justice Sueing, and Felix Okpara. This was their fifth different starting lineup of the season and a lineup that has not been used since the Buckeyes' fifth game of the season when they played Texas Tech in the Maui Invitational.

Buckeyes leads at the half

Ohio State held a 23-20 lead at the half in what was a pretty bad first half if you like offense. The Buckeyes came into this one 10-3 when leading at the half this season and 1-1 in Sunday games.

Foul trouble

Cliff Omoruyi and Cam Spencer picked up two fouls in the first half for Rutgers, forcing the Scarlet Knights to play small ball and Zed Key to advantage, recording some easy baskets and rebounds down low.

Omoruyi also picked up his third foul immediately in the second half and had to sit on the bench up until just under 14 minutes remaining in the game.

For Ohio State, Zed Key and Sean McNeil picked up three fouls each early in the second half and Key picked up his fourth foul with seven minutes remaining in the contest.

First-half shooting struggles

It was not a pretty first half of basketball, as Ohio State led 23-20 and both teams shot the ball at under 30 percent from the field. The Buckeyes were just 8-for-31 from the field and 4-for-10 from three after starting 4-for-7. Rutgers was just 8-for-28 from the field in the first half and 2-for-11 from three-point range.

Tanner Holden enjoys playing Rutgers

It has been an adjustment for Wright State transfer Tanner Holden so far, as he went from a 20-point per game scorer at Wright State to a role player with the Buckeyes. However, against Rutgers so far this season, he hit the game-winning three in the first contest and led the Buckeyes in scoring in the first half in the second meeting with seven points. He would finish with seven points on 3-for-6 shooting.

Up Next:

Next for the Buckeyes in the Big Ten is a road date with the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. The Buckeyes are 19-4 in 23 all-time meetings against Nebraska and are 8-1 at Nebraska.