On the brink of dropping back-to-back home games in a three-day stretch, Ohio State found a way to win and hand the Hoosiers their fifth straight loss on Monday.
Despite giving away a double-digit lead in the second half, the 22nd-ranked Buckeyes rallied late to avenge their Jan. 6 loss in Bloomington with an 80-69 overtime win over Indiana. With the win, Ohio State avoided a multi-game losing streak once again as the Buckeyes still have yet to lose consecutive contests this season.
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After going up 11 points in the first seven minutes of the second half, Ohio State didn’t hit a field goal for nearly five full minutes while Indiana chipped away at the free-throw line and eventually took a one-point lead with 6:35 to play.
With Ohio State trailing by four points late, a pair of free throws by Malaki Branham made it a two-point game with 56.1 seconds to play, and Branham found E.J. Liddell for a game-tying dunk with six seconds left that served as the final points of regulation.
LIDDELL TIES IT— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) February 22, 2022
OVERTIME @EasyE2432 | @OhioStateHoops pic.twitter.com/qmKPZVkbs9
Ohio State took a three-point lead on a Jamari Wheeler 3-pointer with 2:58 to play in overtime, and Liddell knocked down an outside jumper with two minutes to go that kept the Buckeyes up by that same margin. Branham hit a shot with 1:07 to go that extended the lead to five, and a Liddell free throw 20 seconds later gave Ohio State a six-point lead.
The Buckeyes closed things out from there to seal the deal and avoid what could have been a disastrous loss at the Schottenstein Center.
Ohio State outscored Indiana, 17-6, in overtime, Branham finished with a game-high 27 points and Liddell added 16 of his own as the Buckeyes shot nearly 14 percent better than the Hoosiers on the night.
Ohio State started the game just 1-for-7 from the floor, but hit each of its next six shots to take an early 17-12 lead on the Hoosiers after a Jamari Wheeler layup at the 11:14 mark. Neither team had a run of more than four points until Indiana’s Parker Stewart knocked down a pair of triples to give the Hoosiers an 18-17 lead with 7:42 to play in the first half.
The Buckeyes closed out the half on a 16-10 run from there, though, taking a 33-28 lead to the intermission after going up by as many as seven points in the final 2:06 of the first half. While E.J. Liddell had a slow start, scoring just five points on 2-for-7 shooting in the opening half, Malaki Branham picked up the slack, leading all Buckeyes with 10 points through 20 minutes.
Ohio State shot 4.8 percent better than the Hoosiers in the first half, and despite losing the rebounding battle 18-16, the Buckeyes held a 16-12 edge in points in the paint. Eugene Brown also gave Ohio State an early lift, scoring seven points in the first half for his most in any game since Jan. 30 against Purdue.
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Brown continued to roll early in the second half, knocking down a 3-pointer at the 17:35 mark that gave Ohio State an eight-point lead, 40-32, its largest to that point. Branham extended it even further with a sequence in which he got a wide-open dunk and followed it up with a wing 3-pointer to put the Buckeyes up 10 points with 15 minutes to play.
Ohio State was whistled for a number of fouls over the next five minutes to help allow Indiana back in the game, and a stretch of four straight points by Hoosier forward Miller Kopp cut the Buckeye lead to six points, 51-45, with 11:08 to go.
A flagrant foul assessed to Liddell allowed Indiana to make it just a three-point game at the free-throw line with 9:15 to play, and a layup from freshman guard Tamar Bates put Indiana down one point, 55-54, at the 7:20 mark. That basket was part of a stretch in which the Hoosiers embarked on a 13-4 run to close the gap on the Buckeyes.
Indiana took a one-point lead after a pair of Jackson-Davis free throws with 6:35 to play, and a 9-0 Hoosier run put them up four at the media timeout with 4:13 to go.
The Buckeyes trailed the rest of the way until Liddell’s game-tying dunk with six seconds to go.
A corner 3-pointer from Jamari Wheeler gave Ohio State the lead back with just under three minutes to play, and Liddell knocked down a deep contested two with the clock ticking under two minutes to keep the Buckeyes on top.
Branham put Ohio State up five, 74-69 with 67 seconds left, and Liddell helped close things out with a free throw to make it a six-point game 20 seconds after that. The Buckeyes continued to knock down free throws the rest of the way and closed out the win in Columbus.
Xavier Johnson led the way for Indiana with 16 points, and Jackson-Davis scored 13 after putting up 27 in the first meeting with the Buckeyes.
Ohio State goes on the road for its first meeting of the season with Kofi Cockburn and Illinois at 9 p.m. Thursday in a game that will be televised on FS1.
- Indiana’s Trey Galloway (lower body), Khristian Lander (leg) and Rob Phinisee (foot) were all unavailable for the Hoosiers. Galloway had started the previous three games for Indiana.
- Ohio State avenged the loss in its first game with Indiana, a 67-51 defeat at Assembly Hall on Jan. 6.
- The Buckeyes have played Indiana more times than any other team since the 1949-50 season, with Monday’s game being the 135st matchup in the series since then and the 197th meeting overall.
- The Buckeyes had the same starting five as their previous three games, with Jamari Wheeler, Malaki Branham, Eugene Brown, E.J. Liddell and Zed Key all getting the nod.
- Thad Matta, who is now Indiana’s associate athletic director for men’s basketball administration, was back at the Schottenstein Center for Monday’s game. He spent time chatting with his former player Greg Oden, who is now a graduate assistant coach for the Buckeyes, before the game.