An old basketball adage goes, “Live by the three, die by the three.”
Except the Buckeyes aren’t dying by the three. In fact, they’re finding ways to win even when the 3-pointers aren’t going in.
That certainly was the case for the No. 23 ranked Buckeyes in their 80-68 win over No. 11 Rutgers, only shooting 4-of-19 for 21.1 percent from the 3-point line. Ohio State now shoots 32.2 percent from beyond the arc this season.
Duane Washington Jr. was the only Buckeye to hit from deep against the Scarlet Knights en route to a career-high 22 points. His three treys in the second half helped spark Ohio State’s comeback victory as the Buckeyes trailed by 16 before Washington Jr. drilled back-to-back attempts.
“Duane’s big threes gave us some real momentum and cut the lead to where it was manageable,” Coach Chris Holtmann remarked. “Players turned the tide of this game. They made the necessary plays. Duane’s bang-bang-bang threes were critical for us.”
“I’m always going to be confident and look for my shot,” Washington Jr. said about his three-point shooting. “ It’s what I’ve been good at in my career. Today was expected. I expect to make every shot and take every look that I get.”
Wednesday's victory was the least effective Ohio State had been from downtown, but it's the fourth straight game in which they've hit fewer than six 3-balls and the third straight game they hit less than 31 percent of the time.
Ohio State will look to improve on its deep ball in order to keep pace on the road against Northwestern on Saturday. The Wildcats average the most 3-pointers in the league at 11.4 makes per game.
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