COLUMBUS, Ohio — Zed Key scored a career-high 20 points and Ohio State held top-ranked Duke scoreless for the final 4 1/2 minutes, completing a rally from a 15-point second-half deficit to beat the Blue Devils 71-66 on Tuesday night.
E.J. Liddell hit two free throws with 1:06 remaining to give the Buckeyes (5-2) their first lead since early in the first half, and his jumper made it 69-66 with 16 seconds left. Duke freshman star Paolo Banchero missed a tying 3-pointer, and Cedric Russell got the rebound and closed it out at the free-throw line. Ohio State fans stormed the court as time expired.
The Blue Devils (7-1) claimed the top spot in this week’s AP Top 25 poll — a stay that could be brief — after beating then-No. 1 Gonzaga in Las Vegas. Ohio State improved to 2-1 against ranked foes this year with its fourth straight game decided in the final minutes.
Liddell finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for Ohio State, which beat the No. 1 team in the country for the second straight time on its home court. The Buckeyes knocked off Michigan State 80-64 on Jan. 7, 2018.
Wendell Moore Jr. led the Blue Devils with 17 points and Banchero finished with 14.
Duke led by 13 points at halftime and extended that advantage to 49-34 early in the second half. Moore’s layup with 5:19 remaining made it 65-57, and Trevor Keels made a free throw with 4:29 left.
The Blue Devils didn’t score again, missing their last six shots as Ohio State closed the game with a 12-0 run. Duke endured a 1-for-14 stretch earlier in the half, allowing the Buckeyes to draw closer.
Ohio State took an early 13-7 lead but Duke responded with a 13-2 run. The Blue Devils shot 52.9% in the first half.