Minnesota guard Marcus Carr hit a three-pointer with 3.3 seconds to play, giving his team the deciding score in the Gophers’ (11-8, 5-4) 62-59 win over the Buckeyes, who now fall to 2-6 in Big Ten play and 12-7 overall.
Carr led all scorers with 21 points.
Centers Daniel Oturu and Kaleb Wesson came into this game as the leading scorers for their respective teams, but both players went scoreless in the first half. Oturu outscored Wesson 11-2 in the second half.
Ohio State was outscored 34-22 in the second half. The Buckeyes shot 10-of-27 from the field and 1-of-7 from three-point range over the game’s final 20 minutes.
After trading occasional baskets for the first five minutes of the game, the Gophers built a 12-7 lead following a dunk from Alihan Demir and a three-pointer from Payton Willis at the 14:17 mark. DJ Carton responded with a three, which was immediately answered with a three-point play from Tre’ Williams.
The Buckeyes then responded with an 11-2 run, featuring a layup and a three from Duane Washington. Despite the run, the Gophers grabbed the lead right back at 22-21 with a layup from Isaiah Ihnen and a three-pointer from Marcus Carr.
Ohio State then went on another run, this time a 14-3 sprint over a six-minute span. Leading 35-25 late in the first half, the Buckeyes gave up a three to Gabe Kalscheur, but that was then answered by a CJ Walker jumper at the buzzer to make it 37-28 at the half.
The Buckeyes opened the second half with a dunk by Kaleb Wesson, giving the Buckeyes their largest lead of the game at 39-28. It was Wesson’s first — and only — field goal of the night. He scored just two points on 1-of-10 shooting due to the defense of Oturu. Wesson did pull down 14 points, however.
Minnesota responded to the dunk with an 8-0 run to make it 39-36 with 16:05 remaining in the game.
The Gophers finally grabbed a lead following a layup from Carr with 7:52 to play. Duane Washington grabbed the lead back with a three to make it 51-49, but that was immediately answered by a jumper from Oturu to tie the game with 6:48 remaining.
Following a missed jumper by Kaleb Wesson and a defensive rebound by Tre’ Williams, Luther Muhammad came up with a steal and hit CJ Walker on a fastbreak for the layup to regain the lead at 53-51 at the 6:02 mark.
The Buckeyes held on their next defensive possession, but Duane Washington’s three missed its mark. The same could not be said for Gabe Kalscheur’s three, which gave the Gophers a 54-53 lead with 4:52 to play. Washington missed shots on Ohio State’s next two possessions, with the second being a point-blank whiff that would have given the Buckeyes the lead with under four minutes to play.
With Ohio State trailing 57-55, Kaleb Wesson missed a three-point attempt, but DJ Carton came away with the offensive rebound. The ball went back to Wesson, who found Kyle Young cutting to the basket for a dunk to tie the game at 57-57 with 1:47 to play. Young then gave the Buckeyes the lead with a layup on their next possession.
The OSU lead lasted all of 26 seconds, as Carr tied the game at 59-59 following a jumper in the paint with just 43 seconds to play in the game.
Ohio State called a timeout following the basket. Their next offensive set left Kaleb Wesson open for a three, which he missed with 16 seconds to play. Carr came down with the rebound and rather than call a timeout, Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino left the Gophers’ fate in Carr’s hands. He responded in a very clutch manner by draining a three-pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining.
With no timeouts, but time to inbound the ball in the backcourt and dribble for a decent shot, the Buckeyes instead went with a baseball pass to Kaleb Wesson 70 feet away that went out of bounds without being touched by anybody, giving the Gophers the ball back with 3.3 seconds remaining and securing the win.
Ohio State forced just four Gopher turnovers.