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Four Point Play by Kam Williams boosts Buckeyes past Rutgers.
By John Porentas

 

COLUMBUS, OH - Nothing has come easy for the basketball Buckeyes this year, including a win over cellar-dwelling Rutgers. 

For about a half it looked like the Buckeyes would come off one of their best performances of the season in a win over Michigan in Ann Arbor and finally have a game that was a comfortable win over the Scarlet Knights. OSU led by six at the half after leading by as many as 11 in the first 20 minutes of play.  They re-extended their lead to 12 early in the second half when they took a 41-29 lead with 16:49 to play. 

They looked like they were in control.

Looks can be deceiving. 

Rutgers refused to go away. They crashed the boards to to earn extra shots, something they could not do in the first half, and got back into the game by exploiting the Buckeye defense with fast break baskets and taking advantage of OSU turnovers. For the game Rutgers notched 10 fast break points to none for OSU. They also picked up 16 points off OSU turnovers. 

While the Rutgers offense was picking up steam the OSU offense was struggling. Guard JaQuan Lyle played 16 minutes in the first half but was unable to play in the second half when his previously-injured ankle began to bother him. Forward Marc Loving missed a big piece of the first half when a hard fall under the basket resulted in a cut above his left eye that required five stitches. Guard C.J. Jackson missed time when his ankle was stepped on in a scrum.

Rutgers was able to climb back into the game against the short-handed Buckeyes and close to one point at 56-55 with 7:37 to play.

That's when Williams took over. He hit a three pointer at 5:49 to put OSU back up by four at 59-55. Just 45 seconds later Williams made three free throws after being fouled on a three point attempt. The makes moved OSU back up by five at 62-57. 

Rutgers kept coming back, and finally tied the game at 62 each and it looked for all the world like the Scarlet Knights had the momentum.

Remember that thing about looks being deceiving?

Williams put the momentum back into the Buckeye house for good when he connected on a three point attempt with 1:05 on the clock to give OSU the lead at 65-62. He was also fouled on the play and made the free throw to make it 66-62. 

It was all OSU would need. Rutgers scored just two more points the rest of the way and Loving and Jackson both made a pair of free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

Williams was the star but he did have help. Center Trevor Thompson notched another double-double with 15 points to go with 13 rebounds. Forward Jae-Sean Tate added 11 points. 

For the second-consecutive game, both wins, OSU was very effective at the free throw line. They made 19 of 25 attempts for a 76 percent conversion rate. Rutgers made just 10 of 18 for 56 percent.

Related Story: Williams Shines Bright in Otherwise Mediocre Night.

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