No. 1 Duke can't hang on, drops first of season to Ohio State 71-66

Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Duke's Paolo Banchero shoots over Ohio State's Kyle Young on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No. 1 Duke built a 15-point lead but went cold down the stretch in dropping its first game of the season Tuesday night 71-66 to Ohio State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Wendell Moore Jr. led the Blue Devils (7-1) with 17 points. Paolo Banchero added 14.

The Buckeyes (5-2) used a 12-0 run to erase a deficit and seal the win. Duke got a free throw from Trevor Keels at the 4:29 mark of the second half for a 66-59 lead but would not score again the rest of the way.

"I thought they wore us out," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We were worn out at the end."

E.J. Liddell hit two free throws with 1:06 remaining to give the Buckeyes 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.

Foul trouble plagued Duke most of the second half, with four starters finishing with four fouls.

Zed Key scored a career-high 20 points for Ohio State,

"They're good," Krzyzewski said. "It's a good learning experience for our team."

The Blue Devils claimed the top spot in this week's AP Top 25 poll - a stay that will 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.