MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season, an 84-71 decision at Minnesota Sunday night at Williams Arena. The Buckeyes drop to 9-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten while the Golden Gophers improve to 5-5 on the year, also 1-1 in conference play.
The Buckeyes return home to host Southeast Missouri State at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Value City Arena. Tickets are available for purchase online here.
D.J. Carton led Ohio State, which was playing without second-leading scorer Duane Washington Jr., with a career-high 19 points while E.J. Liddell scored a career-best 14 and Kaleb Wesson scored 12. Minnesota’s Marcus Carr scored a game-high 35, including 28 in the second half, to go along with seven assists while Gabe Kalscheur scored 15 and Daniel Oturu went for 14 points and 13 boards.
The contest was back-and-forth early with Ohio State using a Liddell jumper to take a 14-11 lead with 13:15 remaining in the first half. However, Minnesota responded with a 13-2 run over the next 6:00 to pull ahead 24-16 with 7:15 left to play. The Buckeyes cut the deficit to four at 27-23 on a Kaleb Wesson 3-pointer at the 3:49 mark but the Golden Gophers again answered with a run of their own, this time a 9-2 spurt, to go up 36-25 with 1:10 remaining before taking a 38-29 lead into the break.
Kaleb Wesson led the Buckeyes with eight points and five rebounds over the first 20 minutes while Carton scored seven. The Golden Gophers connected on 15-of-29 shots from the field and 5-of-11 3-point attempts in the first half as Oturu paced Minnesota with eight points.
A Luther Muhammad made 3-pointer made it an eight-point game in the opening minute of the second half but Minnesota hit six of its next seven shots from the field, going on a 15-5 run to push the lead to a game-high 18 at 55-37 with 12:29 remaining. Ohio State scored the next six points to trim the deficit to 12 at 55-43 at the 10:15 mark but the Buckeyes would get no closer than nine the remainder of the way, dropping their first contest of the season.
For the game, the Golden Gophers made 54.4 percent (31-of-57) of their shots while holding the Buckeyes to 23-for-60 (38.3 percent) from the field. Minnesota held a 40-28 advantage on the boards.