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Ohio State basketball battles hard, loses to Duke on the road

The Ohio State basketball team was back in action Wednesday night with a challenging road contest at Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Despite battling hard in the second half, OSU was unable to climb completely out of a ten-point halftime deficit, eventually falling to the Blue Devils 81-72.

Things started out well for Ohio State. The Buckeyes started quickly and had a modest 8-2 lead early on, but Duke did Duke things at home and went on a run midway through the first half to take control of the game and entered the locker room up 39-29 with defensive tenacity and great unselfishness on the offensive end.

But OSU wouldn’t go away.

Several times, Ohio State pulled to within five points in the second half, but each time, Duke got a defensive stop and was able to extend the lead back out. The game never really felt like the result was too much peril with the game sticking around a seven to ten-point lead for most of the second half.

What led to most of the problems with allowing Duke to run out to a double-digit lead were turnovers and an inability to hit open 3-pointers, two things the Buckeyes needed to go in their way in order to spring the upset in Durham. Ohio State often times dribbled into traffic in the first half and finished the game with 16 turnovers and made just 3-of-13 from beyond the arc.

There were some bright spots though for a team with a bunch of young and new faces. Zed Key had himself a day, scoring 21 points in brute fashion, making good on 7-of-9 shots from the field, mostly from the post. He also finished the game with eight rebounds.

Three other Buckeyes finished in double figures as well. Justice Sueing (12), Bruce Thorton (11), and Sean McNeil (14) all logged more than ten points each en route to 46.3% shooting from the field. The team fought and battled hard in the second half and can look to build on the effort, but the offensive possessions will have to be more efficient going forward, and the defensive rotations more solid.

With the loss, Ohio State falls to 5-2 on the season and will next be in action at home vs. Saint Francis PA on Saturday.

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire