COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tanner Holden made a 3-pointer as time expired to give No. 25 Ohio State a 67-66 victory over Rutgers on Thursday night.
Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi blocked Brice Sensbaugh’s shot with nine seconds left, and the Scarlet Knights led by three with seven seconds to go.
Bruce Thornton made a pair of free throws to pull the Buckeyes within one with five seconds left, and Caleb McConnell then made one of two for Rutgers.
On the buzzer-beating play, Holden — whose game-winning shot was his lone basket of the game — sidestepped across midcourt and out of bounds before stepping back onto the court. Thornton ran toward the top of the sideline before looking to pass.
Holden caught Thornton’s assist after re-establishing himself inbounds and officials counted the basket.
“I think I might have saw it go through,” Holden said. “I think I heard the crowd more, so I think that reassurance helped me.”
Pikiell said he was unsure if Ohio State was out of bounds on the final play.
“I thought we executed when we needed to, just didn’t get I guess that last stop,” Pikiell said. “I thought he kind of went out of bounds, I’m not sure, but hit a huge 3 and won the game.”
Zed Key had 22 points and 14 rebounds for Ohio State (7-2, 1-0 Big Ten).
“We weren’t great with all the changing defenses, but I thought we were OK,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “All things considered with some of the youth we had out there, I thought we did a pretty good job with it.”
Omoruyi scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Rutgers (6-3, 1-1). Aundre Hyatt added 13 points and Cam Spencer had 11.
“I just thought with our 3-point lead right there, just get them to not be able to heave up a 3 with that little time left on the clock,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said. “We got what we wanted. We got to the free throw line and we just didn’t kind of finish the deal.”