Men’s Basketball: No. 22 Ohio State survives with 80-69 overtime win against Indiana

Freshman guard Malaki Branham scored 27 points in Ohio State’s thrilling 80-69 overtime victory over Indiana Monday.

The No. 22 Buckeyes (17-7, 10-5 Big Ten) needed 45 minutes to stave off a fierce upset attempt against the Hoosiers (16-10, 7-9 Big Ten), outscoring Indiana 17-6 in the overtime period, as Branham was 9-for-13 from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line on the night.

Graduate guard Jamari Wheeler responded after starting 0-for-4 from deep, drilling a corner 3-pointer with 2:58 to go in overtime to give the Buckeyes a 70-67 lead.

On the Buckeyes’ next offensive possession, Indiana redshirt junior forward Race Thompson blocked a runner from Branham. Ohio State gathered the loose ball and junior forward E.J. Liddell knocked down a mid-range jumper to put the Buckeyes back up by three.

Branham scored his fourth point in the extra five minutes on a jumper that rattled around the rim before falling, giving the Buckeyes a five-point advantage.

Liddell and Indiana junior guard Xavier Johnson were assessed technical fouls with 47 seconds to go. Liddell went 1-for-2 at the line and 3-for-4 for the game. 

Ohio State shot 8-for-11 at the free throw line in overtime and 22-for-28 for the game.

Ohio State found itself down 63-59 under a minute remaining in regulation.

Branham was fouled on a jump shot and knocked down both free throws.

On the other end, Indiana freshman guard Tamar Bates attempted a dagger 3-pointer that rimmed off the left side of the iron that was gathered by Wheeler.

Wheeler brought it up the court and found Liddell who hammered home a thunderous dunk to tie the game 63-63 and send it to the five-minute overtime period.

Indiana outscored Ohio State 9-2 in a stretch midway through the second half to cut its deficit to just one point — the closest the game had been since the Hoosiers held an 18-17 lead with 7:42 to go in the first half.

Liddell was assessed a flagrant one foul with 9:15 to go in the second half, following a made 3-pointer from Indiana junior forward Miller Kopp.

Kopp provided all of his seven points in the second half.

Johnson stepped to the line and knocked down both of his free throws before adding a made jump shot two possessions later to cut it to a three-point game.

Bates’ layup cut it to a one-point Ohio State advantage as sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis nailed a couple free throws to give the Hoosiers their first lead since the first half.

Indiana outscored the Buckeyes 35-30 in the second half.

The Hoosiers hauled in 15 offensive rebounds which led to 17 second-chance points.

Jackson-Davis, who had 27 points against the Buckeyes in their first meeting Jan. 6, was kept in check in the rematch. He only had 13 points on 3-for-9 from the field.

The Hoosiers — who have leaned heavily on the Big Ten’s sixth-best scorer in Jackson-Davis to carry their offensive load — got solid contributions from redshirt juniors forward Race Thompson and guard Parker Stewart, who added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Ohio State led by as many as 11 in the second half, staving off Indiana’s attempts to trim the deficit and answering with buckets of its own.

Thompson knocked down a jumper and a 3-pointer, which was countered on the other end by a dunk and jumper from Liddell, respectively.

Johnson’s layup was met with a turnaround jump hook on Ohio State’s next possession by sophomore forward Zed Key.

Stewart nailed a 3-pointer, which was erased by Branham’s first 3-pointer of the game.

Ohio State travels to Illinois Thursday to take on the Fighting Illini at 9 p.m. on FS1.