Men's Basketball

Ohio State Survives Cornell 88-83 to Advance in NIT

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s season continues.

No. 2 seed Ohio State (20-13) defeated No. 16 seed Cornell (22-7) 88-83 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday night. It was head coach Jake Diebler’s first official win as the full time head coach of the Buckeyes.

Jamison Battle and Roddy Gayle Jr. each had 17 points for the Buckeyes, hitting 6-of-14 attempts each. Felix Okpara contributed 16 points and Devin Royal added 13. As a team, the Buckeyes had 22 assists and attempted a total of 75 shots in the game.

Ohio State won on the glass with 51 total rebounds and 22 offensive boards.

Cornell led through most of the first half of play but it was a fast-paced, back-and-forth game with both teams trading 3-pointers. Ohio State made 11 shots from behind the arc and Cornell made 12. The game featured 17 lead changes and six ties.

It was a tie game at 79 with 1:57 to play. Cornell made a layup and held an 81-79 lead. With one minute to play, Battle made a deep 3 from the corner to give the Buckeyes the 82-81 lead with 0:43 to play. Devin Royal added a layup and Ohio State hit free throws to close the game.

Free throw shooting hurt Ohio State as the Buckeyes got to the line 22 times but only made 13 attempts, good for 59 percent.

Bruce Thornton carried the Buckeyes through the first half with nine points, but was limited in the second half, not playing the final 10 minutes of the game.

Cornell was led by guard Isaiah Gray who had 19 points for the Big Red, 12 of which came while making a push in the second half.

Up next, the Buckeyes advance to the next face No. 3 seeded Virginia Tech.

Photo via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics. 

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