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Halftime Analysis: Duke's Athleticism On Full Display Against Short-Handed Buckeyes

The Buckeyes have shot almost 50 percent from the floor, but Duke is capitalizing on OSU's mistakes and leads comfortably at the break.

Halftime Score: No. 1 Duke 43, Ohio State 30

The Buckeyes have played some big games already this season, but this is easily the largest crowd they've played in front of since 2019. It's great to see The Schott so loud ... and no big surprise, Duke fans have traveled well.

In general, I think the Blue Devils have played really solid defense. Ohio State missed it's last two shots to dip under 50 percent, but is still shooting it at a pretty high clip (12-of-25). the Buckeyes have a hand in their face on just about every shot. Oddly enough, it seems it's been easier to make contested shots because the Bucks have been terrible from the free throw line so far. They hit just 3-of-10 in the first half, including one from E.J. Liddell with 0.1 seconds remaining.

It's a bummer that Justice Sueing and Seth Towns aren't available tonight. Having those guys at full strength would be a real lift. Zed Key is playing tough and so far Kyle Young has given the team good minutes. Unfortunately, we've seen extremely little of Joey Brunk so far.

Chris Holtmann, Buckeyes Preview Matchup Against No. 1 Duke

It's pretty obvious why Paolo Banchero is considered one of the top players in the country. His poise in chaotic situations really stands out. But he picked up a third personal foul with 3:05 left in the first half and I'm certain the Buckeyes will try to force him into making a mistake early in the second half.

Cedric Russell came on toward the end of the first half, marking his most important minutes as a Buckeye. Malaki Branham and Jamari Wheeler each picked up two fouls in the first half, so Russell's minutes became more critical. He hit a big 3-ball late in the first half to keep the Buckeyes within striking distance.

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