The potential was realized, at least for one game when freshman Malaki Branham helped lead Ohio State to an overtime win at Nebraska Sunday by dropping 35-points. The performance was notable because it allowed OSU to come back from a three-game layoff because of COVID-19 concerns with a victory. For his efforts, Branham was named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Week Monday.
Branham was 13-of-19 from the floor, including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. He also tied a season-high with six rebounds. The reigning Mr. Basketball of Ohio’s efforts were not only becoming of a freshman but sit up there as one of the best performances by an Ohio State basketball player in recent memory.
Consider the following thanks to a release from the OSU Department of Athletics.
The 35 points are the most by an OSU freshman in a Big Ten game and second only to Jared Sullinger who scored 40 vs. IUPUI as a freshman in 2010.
The 35 points also tie Keita Bates-Diop for the most by any OSU player in a Big Ten game since 2000.
Branham’s six three-pointers tie an OSU freshman record for the most in a single game. He entered the night just 5-of-15 combined from long range on the season.
His 13 field goals are tied for the second-most by an OSU freshman in a game in program history.
The 35 points are also tied for the second-most in a game by any freshman in the country this season.
⭐️ @MalakiBranham has been named @BigTen Freshman of the Week after scoring a career high 35 points on 68.4% shooting to go along with 6 rebounds and 2 assists in a win over Nebraska.#Team123 | #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/OX4TpcQLUo
— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) January 3, 2022
With the victory, the Buckeyes improved their record to 9-2 and remained unbeaten in Big Ten play at 3-0. Ohio State next takes on Indiana in Bloomington on Thursday.