Duke's Mike Krzyzewski Says Ohio State 'Wore Us Out' in Upset Loss

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 1, 2021

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils watches his team play against the Citadel Bulldogs during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 22, 2021 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski credited Ohio State for a relentless effort that allowed the Buckeyes to overcome a 13-point halftime deficit to upset the top-ranked Blue Devils on Tuesday night.

"I thought they wore us out," Coach K told reporters after the 71-66 loss in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. "We were really worn out at the end. ... They're well-coached. They're well-balanced."

The loss dropped Duke to 7-1 while OSU improved to 5-2 on the 2021-22 season.

It was a tale of two halves for Krzyzewski's group offensively. They made 18 of their 34 field-goal attempts before halftime (52.9 percent), but just seven of their 31 shots in the second half (22.6 percent) to leave the door open for the Ohio State comeback.

The Buckeyes took advantage, knocking down five threes as part of a rally that improved their home record to 4-0.

"I thought our ability to stay with it was really important," OSU head coach Chris Holtmann told reporters. "Players win games, and we had a number of guys make plays down the stretch."

Zed Key led the offensive charge for Ohio State with 20 points in 27 minutes. E.J. Liddell added 14 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, while Cedric Russell chipped in 12 points off the bench.

"We really dug in on the defensive side of things," Russell said. "It just felt good to come out on top, especially at home."

Wendell Moore Jr. (17 points) and Paolo Banchero (14), the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft, paced Duke in the loss.

The Blue Devils were coming off their biggest win of the season to date, an upset of then-No. 1 Gonzaga on Friday. They also beat No. 10 Kentucky during their 7-0 start to the campaign.

Duke has a couple weeks off following the loss before returning to action Dec. 14 when it hosts South Carolina State at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Ohio State is back in action Sunday when it visits the Bryce Jordan Center to open Big Ten play against Penn State.