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Ohio State pulls out OT win over West Virginia

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Bruce Thornton scored six of his 11 points in overtime and sophomore Roddy Gayle Jr. scored a career-high 32 points to lead Ohio State to a 78-75 win over West Virginia on Saturday in Cleveland.

Thornton scored four consecutive points for 77-71 lead with 2:03 left in OT. It was 78-75 when the Buckeyes’ Evan Mahaffey grabbed an offensive rebound off a Gayle miss, but he missed two free throws with 20 seconds to go.

West Virginia’s Kerr Kriisa missed the first shot of a one-and-one with eight seconds left, and Jamison Battle got the rebound for Ohio State to run out the clock.

Gayle had 20 points in the second half for the Buckeyes (11-2) to better his previous best of 23 set against Alabama on Nov. 24. Battle finished with 17 points, including four second-half 3-pointers.

RaeQuan Battle scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Mountaineers (5-8). Noah Farrakhan had 19 points before fouling out with 1:19 left in overtime.

Patrick Suemnick pulled West Virginia even at 65 on a shot in the paint with 29 seconds left in regulation, and Gayle missed a shot at the buzzer.

The Buckeyes assumed a 28-26 halftime lead on a Thornton drive through the lane, but that didn’t tell the story of a roller coaster first 20 minutes.

Ohio State had an early 9-0 run, and with eight minutes left they took their largest lead at 24-10. The Buckeyes then went cold, hitting just 1 of 12 the rest of the period.

That allowed West Virginia to chip away, finally forging 26-26 tie on Kriisa’s 3-pointer with 1:08 left.

Ohio State shot 27 percent from the floor in the first half and was 2 of 15 (13.3 percent) from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers’ problem was on the boards, where the Buckeyes had a 27-19 edge.

The game was the last nonleague action for each team. West Virginia opens Big 12 play next on Jan. 6 at No. 3 Houston. The Buckeyes, 1-1 in the Big Ten, host Rutgers on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

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