January 9, 2019

No. 16 Ohio State Falters Late in 64-61 Defeat at Rutgers

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The No. 16 Ohio State men’s basketball team dropped a 64-61 contest at Rutgers Wednesday night at Rutgers Athletic Center. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 12-3, 2-2 in the Big Ten, while the Scarlet Knights improve to 8-6, 1-3 in conference play.

Kaleb Wesson led Ohio State with 18 points and seven rebounds while Luther Muhammad added 13 points and six boards. Montez Mathis led four Scarlet Knights in double figures with 16 points while Geo Baker tacked on 15 points and five boards.

After the Buckeyes scored the first four points of the game, Rutgers, aided by two early fouls on Wesson and a hot-shooting Baker, pushed its lead to 11 at 28-17 with 6:02 left in the half. However, Ohio State outscored the Scarlet Knights 13-3 the rest of the half to cut the Rutgers lead to 31-30 at the break.

Muhammad led Ohio State with eight points in the first half while Baker scored 13 over the first 20 minutes.

Wesson then scored the Buckeyes’ first 10 points of the second half to give Ohio State a 40-38 advantage with 15:42 left to play but Rutgers answered with a 10-0 run over the next 4:10 to regain a 48-38 advantage with 11:32 remaining. The Scarlet Knights extended their advantage to 55-45 on a Myles Johnson layup with 9:00 left but the Buckeyes were able to climb back in it, using back-to-back layups from Muhammad and C.J. Jackson to eventually take a 61-58 lead with 2:37 to go. However, Rutgers held the Buckeyes scoreless the rest of the way, using two-straight Mathis layups to take the lead before Baker hit a fadeaway jumper with 13 seconds remaining to make it a 64-61 Rutgers lead. Jackson had a chance at a game-tying 3-pointer from the left wing in the final seconds but it caromed off the rim as the Scarlet Knights picked up the win.

Ohio State travels to Iowa for a 2:30 p.m. ET matchup Saturday.