COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tanner Holden hit a 3-pointer as time expired to lead No. 25 Ohio State to a 67-66 win over Rutgers on Thursday night.
Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi blocked Brice Sensbaugh’s shot with nine seconds left to put the Red Knights ahead by three with seven seconds left.
Bruce Thornton made a pair of free throws to pull the Buckeyes within five seconds left, and then Caleb McConnell made one of two for Rutgers.
On the game-winning layup, Holden made a layup – his only basket of the game – as he dodged a midcourt layup. Thornton raced to the top of the sideline before looking for a pass.
Holden caught Thornton’s layup after rebounding and the officials counted the basket.
“I think I’ve seen it go through,” Holden said. “I think I heard the crowd more, so I think that confidence helped me.”
Pikiell said he wasn’t sure Ohio State was out of bounds on the final play.
“I thought we executed when we needed to, but I didn’t get the last stop,” Pikiell said. “I thought he went out of bounds, I’m not sure, but he hit a big 3 and won the game.”
Zed Key had 22 points and 14 rebounds for Ohio State (7-2, 1-0 Big Ten).
“With any shifting defense, we weren’t great, but I thought we were good,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “We went through everything with some of the young guys we had there, I thought we did a really good job with him.”
Omoruyi scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Rutgers (6-3, 1-1). Aundre Hyatt had 13 points and Cam Spencer had 11 points.
Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said, “I thought about our 3-point lead, they couldn’t get a 3-pointer with a little time left on the clock.” “We got what we wanted. We got to the line of scrimmage and we just couldn’t finish the deal.