It looked like it could turn into an Ohio State rout, but it turned out to be anything but. Forty minutes were not enough to separate the Buckeyes and Minnesota on Tuesday night.
After blowing a 12-point halftime lead, Marc Loving hit a jumper with 5.6 seconds left in overtime to help lift Ohio State to a 74-72 win over Minnesota.
D'Angelo Russell finished with a game-high 27 points to lead the Buckeyes. Loving finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Shannon Scott had nine points and 10 assists.
Ohio State held a 41-29 advantage at halftime before being outscored 37-25 by Minnesota in the second half. The Gophers never claimed the lead in the second half, but tied it several times. Amir Williams had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, but his layup rolled off the rim.
Maurice Walker led the way for Minnesota with 18 points. DeAndre Mathieu had 17, while Andre Hollins finished with 12.
In the first half, it was all about Russell. The freshman guard from Louisville was on fire in his first Big Ten road game, making 10 of his first 12 shots, including all five attempts from 3-point range. He poured in 25 of his points in the first half. Ohio State's next-highest scorer in the first half was Loving, who had four points.
The Buckeyes shot 58 percent from the field in the first half and assisted on 12 of its 18 made field goals. Ohio State forced nine first-half turnovers by the Golden Gophers as it ended the first half on an 11-2 run.
The Buckeyes will next be in action Saturday when they travel to Assembly Hall for another Big Ten road game against Indiana.