No. 2 Ohio State Stampedes No. 4 Duke In Columbus

By Tony Piraro

COLUMBUS, Ohio. – The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes dominated No. 4 Duke from start to finish on Tuesday night, handing Duke their first loss of the season, 85-63, from Value City Arena. The game was part of the ACC-B1G 10 Challenge in Columbus. Ohio State was led by Jared Sullinger who scored 21 points, while pulling down eight rebounds. With the victory, Ohio State moves to 7-0 on the young season, while the Blue Devils fall to 7-1.

Ohio State jumped out on Duke early and often Tuesday night. Ohio State went into halftime leading Duke 47-28, as they dominated the Blue Devils at both ends of the floor. The Buckeyes led No. 2 Duke 11-0 before the Blue Devils scored their first points of the game. Obviously, OSU had their game face on for this marquee match-up of unbeaten teams.

A late 10-0 run by Ohio State really put the game out of reach near the end of the first half. Duke made a few runs in the first half, but could never make many consecutive defensive stands. Sullinger was a force to take down underneath, while the Buckeyes ball movement was fundamentally sound all night. They truly looked like the more dominant team.

Duke freshman Austin Rivers continues to impress as he scored 22 points, alongside two boards and three assists. Rivers was creating all night for his own shot, displaying a wide range of moves and shots. Currently, the Duke guard is the leading candidate for Freshman Player of the Year.

Mason Plumlee chipped in with 16 points and eight boards for Duke, but Sullinger got the best of both Plumlee’s on the offensive end.

Four of the Buckeyes starters scored in double figures. William Buford was second in scoring for OSU, posting a line of 20 points, five boards and four assists. Deshaun Thomas scored 18 points, while pulling down five boards. Aaron Craft was killing Duke all night, scoring 17 points, grabbing five boards and dishing out eight assists in the rout.

Duke cut the lead in the second half, and only lost the half by three points after trailing by 19 points heading to halftime. This is a reason Coach K and the Blue Devils don’t often schedule away games in the non-conference season against top-ranked teams. Duke is always trying to play the best at neutral sites or Cameron Indoor Arena. Duke is very vulnerable on the road, especially this season with a young and inexperienced group.

No. 2 Ohio State (7-0) gets back to action on Saturday against the UT-Pan American Broncos (2-6) from Value City Arena. Opening tip will be at 11:00 a.m. central standard time where the Buckeyes will be seeking their eighth straight victory of the season and a possible No. 1 seed for next week’s rankings.

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