No. 1 Duke blows 15-point second-half lead in upset loss to Ohio State

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·2 min read

Duke followed up the biggest win of the season with a surprise loss.

The top-ranked Blue Devils suffered their first loss of the season on Tuesday against Ohio State in the ACC-Big Ten challenge, falling 71-66 despite leading by as many as 15 points in the second half.

The Buckeyes steadily chipped away at the deficit over the final 19 minutes of the game and held Duke scoreless for the final four-and-a-half minutes. Junior forward E.J. Liddell finally gave Ohio State the lead via two free throws with a minute left in the game, then hit a clutch fadeaway to push the lead to three points with 16 seconds left:

On the next possession, potential No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer. One Ohio State rebound, two free throws and a meaningless heave later, Buckeye fans were storming the court.

Ohio State forward Zed Key led all scorers with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while Liddell had 14 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three blocks. Wendell Moore led Duke with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Banchero finished with 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting with five rebounds and three turnovers.

That probably wasn't how Duke wanted to follow up its marquee win over then-No. 1 Gonzaga last week. The Blue Devils exited the weekend with the No. 1 ranking, but their loss opens up the door for No. 2 Purdue, which beat Florida State 93-65 on Tuesday.