It took Ohio State 41 minutes and 21 seconds to fall behind for the first time this season. Thirty-eight minutes and 39 seconds later, the Buckeyes left Value City Arena with their first loss of the year.
After being either tied or in the lead for the entirety of their first two games, Ohio State (2-1) took a 34-32 lead into the half against UT Arlington (2-1), but dropped off the second period on its way to a 73-68 loss.
The Buckeyes shot 41.8 percent from the field and made nine three pointers, but finished with a 13 for 27 mark at the free throw line in the loss. Keita Bates-Diop led the way with 16 points while JaQuan Lyle had 15 and Marc Loving added 12, but it wasn’t enough for Ohio State to overcome the Maverick’s second-half surge.
After UT Arlington scored the game’s first points, Ohio State eventually fell behind, 7-2, at the 16:07 mark in the opening period after committing three turnovers in the opening four minutes. The Buckeyes responded with a 5-0 run to tie the game, though, before eventually pulling ahead, 12-11.
The back-and-forth struggle continued throughout the first 20 minutes, with the Buckeyes taking a slim 34-32 advantage into the locker room.
Before the break Ohio State shot just 12 of 28 from the floor and 4 of 9 from the free throw line, but found a spark beyond the arc with six three-pointers on 12 attempts. Bates-Diop led the way with eight points at the half, while freshman center Daniel Giddens had 4 points, 5 rebounds and 5 blocks.
The second half began much like the first – with the Buckeyes falling behind. Maverick guard Erick Neal hit a three after UT Arlington came up with an offensive rebound on its opening possession, then the Mavericks tacked on a free throw and another three pointer to take a 39-34 advantage.
It took Ohio State just over two and a half minutes to get back on the score sheet via a Jae’Sean Tate lay in, but the Mavericks tacked on five in a row after that before a Bates-Diop three made it 44-39 with 15:58 to play.
The UT Arlington lead ballooned to nine just over a minute later before the Buckeyes pulled back within four after Giddens blocked a shot, ran the floor and came up with a bucket on the other end, thanks to Tate’s over-head pass to keep the ball in play.
Giddens was tagged with a technical foul moments later, though, and Kevin Hervey hit each of the four ensuing free throws to push the Mavericks’ lead to 54-46 with 8:50 on the clock.
By the time the under-four minute media timeout rolled around, the Buckeyes found themselves within striking distance at 62-57 and in possession of the ball. The opportunity was squandered, though, as Ohio State missed a layup and a three-pointer on consecutive possessions before sending Neal to the line, where he made both free throws to stretch the Mavericks’ lead to seven.
Tate tacked on a free throw moments later before Neal air-balled a three-point try. Jorge Bilbao came up with the rebound for UT Arlington, though, and scored on a hook shot to push his team’s advantage to 66-58 with just 1:44 on the clock.
Loving responded with a long ball for Ohio State, but Kam Williams missed a three the next trip down the court. The Buckeyes followed two UT Arlington free throws with a layup via Lyle, but it was too little, too late as fans began to stream out of the stands.
Bates-Diop hit a three pointer to machete a one-possession game with 13 seconds left, followed by two UT Arlington free throws and a Tate layup, but the Buckeyes were forced to foul, allowing the Mavericks to ice the game at the free throw line.