Game-winning tanner Holden Buzzer-Beater gives Ohio State a 67-66 win over Rutgers

Game-winning tanner Holden Buzzer-Beater gives Ohio State a 67-66 win over Rutgers

Tanner Holden called the game.





#25 OHIO STATE 31 36 67





With his first points of the night, the transfer from Wright State hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give Ohio State a 67-66 win over Rutgers in the Buckeyes’ Big Ten opener.

Ohio State trailed by two points after a free throw missed by Rutgers’ Caleb McConnell, and the Buckeyes had a chance to tie it or win with five seconds left. Holden’s contested uprising from range sent the Columbus crowd into a frenzy as freshman Buckeye cemented a no-call victory for Ohio State.

The No. 25-ranked Scarlet and Gray killed the Scarlet Knights in the dying seconds of a conference-opening win over a Rutgers side fresh off an emphatic victory over the No. ‘era. 10 Indianas. Ohio State increased its home winning streak to five straight with another successful effort at Schottenstein Center.

Ohio State led for nearly 1:42 of the first half, but after the momentum swung late in the opening frame, Rutgers capitalized to take several leads in the final frame. Both teams took small advantages in a home-and-away second half that went to the wire, but the Buckeyes made the biggest play with no time left on the clock.







26-56 (46.4%)


28-54 (51.9%)

8-19 (42.1%)

3PM-3PA (pct.)

5-17 (29.4%)

7-12 (58.3)


5-8 (62.5%)

























Zed Key and Brice Sensabaugh, who made their first college starts with Isaac Likekele for the Buckeyes, did the heavy lifting offensively, scoring north of 30 combined points for Ohio State. Key had 22 points and 14 rebounds while Sensabaugh added 13 points.

First half

It was the Zed Key Show early. The Buckeye big man scored 13 of Ohio State’s first 24 points and went into halftime with 15 on 7-for-9 shooting. Key also had eight rebounds and two assists as he led the Buckeyes to a 31-29 lead at intermission.

However, Ohio State needed Key’s energy to stem an early Scarlet Knight tide. A 9-0 run by the Rutgers on three straight 3-pointers gave the Knights an 11-5 lead in the first media timeout while the Buckeyes managed just two of their first seven shots.

But the break in action was just what the Buckeyes needed, as Ohio State responded as soon as time out ended to go on a 14-0 run and reclaim the lead. The Buckeyes knocked down two 3-pointers in that streak, and Key scored six of those points on his own — including a one-handed dunk that forced a timeout from Scarlet Knight at 2:06.

Ohio State took a 19-11 lead before Rutgers stopped the bleeding with their fourth first-half triple with 12:21 left in the first half. At 4:06, a Brice Sensabaugh three gave Ohio State its first double-digit lead of the night, 31-20.

Rutgers came right back with a run of their own, however, and picked up the final nine points of the half to head into the locker room with momentum on their side.

The Buckeyes held a 19-12 advantage on the glass, edged Rutgers 18-12 in the paint and shot nine more free throws than the Scarlet Knights. But while Rutgers had five of its last seven shots at halftime, Ohio State only knocked down three of its last 10.

Second part

Rutgers tied the game on the first shot of the second half, and although the Buckeyes hit three of their next four shots afterwards, the Scarlet Knights scored six straight runs – all layups or dunks – to take their first lead since the start of the premiere. halftime at 1:10 p.m.

Ohio State held a head start over the next few minutes, but Rutgers tied the game several times as they found success on the inside and began to pull ahead in paint differential points. .

A backcourt steal by Rutgers forward Aundre Hyatt led to a transition jumper that gave the Scarlet Knights a two-point lead before a media timeout of less than seven minutes. Judge Sueing reclaimed the lead for the Buckeyes with a 3-pointer at 5:19, but Rutgers big man Clifford Omoruyi turned it around again with a dunk and a just 34 seconds later. Omoruyi had just two points in the first half but came alive to score double figures in the final 20 minutes.

With less than three minutes remaining, the Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights were tied at 59 apiece. But given the chance to take the lead, Ohio State was whistled for a moving screen that returned the ball to Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights made a lay-up to regain the lead on the next possession.

An inside Key hook tied things up afterwards, but Rutgers responded again, and Bruce Thornton hit just one of two free throws that would have kept him in a bind with 56 seconds left.

Down one with just 23.7 seconds left, Sensabaugh’s potential winner was blocked and Rutgers went up three with a pair of free throws on the other end. But after Rutgers rose two to five seconds from the end, Holden’s buzzer-beater closed the show as the home crowd rose in celebration.

Game Notes

  • Ohio State had won 10 of the previous 14 all-time matchups with Rutgers since 1978.

  • The Scarlet Knights won last year’s only game with the Buckeyes, 66-64, in New Jersey on Feb. 9, 2022.

  • At least one of the two programs has been ranked in the AP Top 25 in each of Ohio State’s last four meetings with Rutgers, including Thursday’s contest.

  • Ohio State guard Eugene Brown (concussion) missed his ninth straight game to start the year.

  • Starting guard Isaac Likekele missed his first game of the season to take care of a family matter in his home state of Texas.

  • In Likekele’s place, freshman Brice Sensabaugh made his first college start alongside Bruce Thornton, Sean McNeil, Justice Sueing and Zed Key.

  • Rutgers freshman Antwone Woolfolk is from Cleveland, Ohio, and Florida native Caleb McConnell played high school basketball at Spire Academy in Geneva, Ohio.

  • Chris Holtmann went 4-1 in his first five Big Ten openers as Ohio State head coach.

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