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Paolo Banchero, No. 1 Duke Upset by Unranked Ohio State Behind Zed Key's 20 Points

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 1, 2021

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Duke's reign atop the college basketball rankings will be short-lived. 

The Ohio State Buckeyes stunned the Blue Devils on Tuesday night, 71-66 at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, closing the game on a 14-1 run in the final five minutes.

ESPN @espn

E.J. LIDDELL ICE IN HIS VEINS ❄️<br><br>OSU DEFEATS NO. 1 DUKE 😱 <a href="https://t.co/oUPie6PJpA">pic.twitter.com/oUPie6PJpA</a>

ESPN @espn

🚨 NO. 1 DUKE ON UPSET ALERT 🚨 <a href="https://t.co/om2KUs6QB8">pic.twitter.com/om2KUs6QB8</a>

Ohio State's defense earned them the win, namely in a second half that saw Duke score just 23 points. But Zed Key was equally impressive, scoring a career-high 20 points to lead the Buckeyes. 

That spoiled another solid performance from the pair of Wendell Moore Jr. and Paolo Banchero, though they couldn't prevent the Blue Devils from blowing a 13-point halftime lead.

The loss dropped the Blue Devils to 7-1 on the year, while Ohio State moved to 5-2. 


Key Stats

Zed Key, OSU: 20 points

E.J. Liddell, OSU: 14 points, 14 rebounds, six assists

Malachi Branham, OSU: Eight points

Paolo Banchero, Duke: 14 points, five rebounds

Wendell Moore Jr., Duke: 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists

Jeremy Roach, Duke: Nine points


Ohio State Overcame Free-Throw Woes And Turnovers To Steal A Win

It's hard to beat most teams when you go 11-of-22 from the charity stripe, or commit 12 turnovers. Beating a team as good as Duke with those self-imposed errors is basically impossible. 

Tom Withers @twithersAP

Imagine if Ohio State could make free throws.

But somehow, Ohio State prevailed. The Buckeyes had the home crowd behind them, and consistently got stops in the second half. 

It wasn't pretty. They did it the hard way. But it was a huge statement win for an Ohio State team that was still smarting from two losses in its previous three games against Xavier and Florida.


Banchero And Moore Couldn't Quite Do Enough

Banchero made plenty of headlines with a 20-point first half against Gonzaga, so his effectiveness on Tuesday night—at least in the first half—was hardly a surprise. He's a special player, and only a freshman. 

ESPN @espn

This scoop shot from Paolo Banchero was a BEAUTY 🤩 <a href="https://t.co/0bY2jEvmyA">pic.twitter.com/0bY2jEvmyA</a>

He's got NBA written all over him. 

Moore, a junior, has more experience on this level, and when he hit a pair of tough buckets to end a Duke cold streak in the second half, it looked as though that experience was paying off.

Brendan Marks @BrendanRMarks

I say this every game, but I cannot get over Wendell Moore's confidence change from his freshman year. It's, like, not even the same dude.<br><br>He's not taking that two years ago, or even last year... and he's not making it, either. (Especially not with two fouls...)

David Thompson @daveth89

Wendell Moore is a National Player of the Year candidate. Feel free to try and change my mind.

But neither Banchero or Moore came up big down in the clutch. Duke didn't make a bucket in the final 5:19 of the game, with the Buckeyes ending the contest on an 11-0 run. Banchero or Moore needed to end the run. Neither could.


What's Next?

Ohio State will travel to face Penn State on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. ET. Duke gets a longer break and is next in action on Tuesday, Dec. 14, when they host South Carolina State at 8 p.m. ET.

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