Ohio State fell in overtime to Florida Atlantic, 79-77, Tuesday evening at Value City Arena.
Sophomore guard Nick Rutherford drove the lane and banked in a shot with one second left to give the Owls a two-point lead.
JaQuan Lyle could not corral the ensuing inbounds pass and the Owls (3-5) pulled off the upset victory.
“The goal was to get the last shot,” Rutherford said of his game-winner. “So, I brought it into the middle and I saw space in the paint so I went around my man and put it off the glass.”
The Buckeyes (7-2) had the ball with less than a minute left in overtime and the game was still tied at 77. Lyle threw a pass to senior forward Marc Loving but the ball went through his hands, bounced off his chest and an FAU defender scooped it up. The Owls then called timeout to set up Rutherford’s game-clinching shot.
In the second half, Ohio State led, 58-47, midway through and appeared to be in control but FAU responded with a 14-0 run to take a three-point lead at the 5:53 mark.
Rutherford scored four points during that stretch while sophomore forward Jeantal Cylla had five.
“They were hitting really tough shots,” Lyle said of the Owls' 14-point spurt. “At one point, a guy threw up a shot at the end of the shot clock and banked it in ... they were hitting tough shots so, I mean, kudos to them. But at the end of the day, we had to buckle down and get a stop but kudos to them for hitting tough shots.”
Junior center Trevor Thompson knocked down two free throws with 14 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 71. On the Owls’ next possession, freshman forward Jailyn Ingram dribbled the ball off his leg as he was driving baseline and it went out of bounds.
Lyle received the ensuing inbounds pass but eventually lost control of the ball as he was trying to drive toward the lane.
“We were 1 for 11 to start the game and had some good looks but we let everything affect us,” Ohio State head coach Thad Matta said of why his team lost. “They outplayed us, no question about that. We had that 11-point lead and we didn’t make them guard us. We took some quick shots. Down the stretch, our execution was not good. We weren’t pressuring the ball. They ran everything they wanted to run the entire night.”
Senior guard Adonis Filer led the Owls with 23 points, making 8 of 17 shots from the field and 5 of 9 from behind the three-point line. Junior guard Frank Booker and Cylla each had 15.
Florida Atlantic shot 10 of 25 (40.0 percent) from beyond the arc as a team.
“The three-point line has become a big equalizer in college basketball,” FAU head coach Michael Curry said after the win. “We try to utilize that as much as possible.”
The Buckeyes themselves shot 28 of 67 (41.8 percent) for the night but were only 4 of 20 (20.0 percent) from long distance.
Thompson led the team with 16 points and junior forward Jae’Sean Tate had 14.
Keita Bates-Diop returned to the floor for Ohio State after missing the last five games with a high-ankle sprain. In 20 minutes of action, the junior forward scored 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
“This one hurt but we got a long season,” Tate said. “We got to prepare for (Connecticut on Saturday) and then UCLA and get us back on the map.”