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Coach K’s farewell season had its first hiccup last night. Top-ranked Duke choked away a 15-point second half lead to fall 71-66 to Ohio State at Value City Arena in Columbus. After trailing Duke for the majority of the night, Ohio State took the lead with 1:03 remaining and never looked back.
“The last couple seconds, I was like, OK, I forgot we were even playing a game anymore, I was so excited,” said Buckeye forward Zed Key, who scored a career-high 20 points.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on Ohio State: “I thought they wore us out. We were really worn out at the end … They’re well-coached. They’re well-balanced.”
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) December 1, 2021
Ohio State was able to best the Dukies, despite playing without two of their biggest stars, Justice Sueing and Seth Towns.
That the Buckeyes were able to move to 5-2 on the season is a credit to their coach and game plan, according to the Blue Devils’ Mike Krzyzewski: “I thought they wore us out. We were really worn out at the end…They’re well-coached. They’re well-balanced.”
The balanced Buckeyes were led by Key’s 20, E.J. Liddell’s double-double and 12 Cedric Russell points.
“Players win games, and we had a number of guys make plays down the stretch,” said Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann after the win.
“Our ability to be resilient, to keep coming, to try to win the next possession was really important, and at the end, our players made enough plays. I was really proud of their resiliency.”
Duke was unable to score in the final 4:29 of the game, while the unranked Buckeyes poured in 12 points to seal the deal in a surprising upset.
“We certainly did not overlook Ohio State. Mentally, I thought we were right on target for tonight with scouting, respect and whatever,” added Krzyzewski. “There’s an emotional toll that wears on you, too. In order to win big, you’ve got to be able to win multiple big games in a row. We were not able to do that.”
Duke bested previously top-ranked Gonzaga on Friday.
Unfortunately for Duke, they’ll have to chew on this one for a while. Their first chance to wash away the taste of defeat won’t come for another two weeks, when the Blue Devils host South Carolina State.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF