With 13:00 to go, the Basketball Buckeyes enjoyed a 20-point lead over Rutgers and seemed to be cruising to an impressive victory. However, if we've learned anything from watching this Ohio State basketball team grind through the Big Ten schedule it's that nothing is easy. Rutgers chipped away at the lead, and got it down to three with :27 seconds left before the Buckeyes were able to hang on for a much needed 72-66 victory.
The Buckeyes had an offensive explosion in the first half, putting up 45 points, on 52% shooting, capped off by two outstanding possessions. Duane Washington drove into the lane and kicked it to Andre Wesson for a right corner 3-pointer with :41 seconds left. After a defensive stop, C.J. Walker found Justin Ahrens in the left corner for another 3-pointer that beat the buzzer. The two end of half 3's extended a 9-point lead to 15 at the break. As it turned out, that sequence was huge, as Rutgers turned the tables in the second half, rallying to within 69-66 in the final minute before the Buckeyes put it away at the free throw line.
Kaleb Wesson led four Buckeyes in double figures with 16. He hit both ends of a 1-on-1 with :37 seconds left that helped keep the Scarlet Knights at arms length. Older brother Andre scored 13 with 10 rebounds. Sophomore guards Duane Washington and Luther Muhammed chipped in with 10 points each. Washington also dished out 5 assists, tying Walker for the team high. The victory is the fourth in five games for the Buckeyes (16-8, 6-7 Big Ten) who host Purdue at noon on Saturday. You can check out the highlights of the win over Rutgers, courtesy of the Big Ten Network below. Also posted, thanks to 24-7 sports, are the post-game comments from Buckeye coach Chris Holtmann.