Men's Basketball

Buckeyes Open Season With 67-66 Thriller

COLUMBUS – OSU sophomore forward Zed Key scored the winning layup with under half a second left on the clock to give Ohio State a thrilling 67-66 win over visiting Akron in the season opener for both teams.

Ohio State led by as many as 14 late in the first half but Akron went on 15-1 run in a time span that included late in the first half and early in the second half.  The spurt erased the lead that OSU had enjoyed for most of the first half and resulted in a tie game at 36 all.

OSU looked out of synch offensively for most of the second half but did just enough to stay close with the Zips. Akron never led by more than three despite OSU’s scoring woes.  The Buckeyes were able to stay in the game on the strenght of E.J. Liddell’s scoring. Liddell finished with a game-high 25 points.

The Buckeyes were finally able to retake the lead at 63-62 with 1:20 left on the game clock on a basket by freshman guard Malaki Branham. OSUgot a stop and a basket from Key to take a 65-62 lead with 22 seconds left.

It looked like OSU had the game but Akron sophomore forward Ali Ali hit a highly contested step-back three to give Akron the lead at 66-65 with six seconds remaining on the clock.  Liddell also fouled out of the game on the play when he fouled a non-shooter.

OSU inbounded and advanced the ball to half court and called a time out with under four seconds remaining.  Justin Ahrens inbounded the basketball for OSU and got it to Branham who saw Key under the basket and delivered a perfect pass to allow Key to score he winning basket.

Key ended the game with 14 points. He and Liddell were the only double-figure scorers for OSU.

One Response

  1. We really missed Young and Sueing was very rusty. Akron has gotten some really good players via the portal. Branham came on late after looking lost most of the game. He will be a player. Key and Liddell were very good but we seem to be missing some juice and leadership, especially at the guard spots.

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