Zed Key Provides Lift off the Buckeyes’ Bench

The freshman post player had one of his best performances of the season in the win over Penn State.
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Ohio State has had consistent production from the bench all season long, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when any one player off the bench makes an impact on the game.

Against Penn State, that player was Zed Key.

The freshman saw limited minutes in the last two contests against Purdue and Wisconsin but he was ready when his name was called Wednesday night, especially in the first half.

Ohio State focused on getting the ball inside as the Nittany Lions came into the game with one of the worst defenses in the paint in particular. The game plan was working, especially in the first half, and Key was one of the beneficiaries. At the intermission, he was tied for the team’s leading scorer with nine points despite having one of the tougher matchups on the night going up against Penn State’s John Harrar.

“I thought where we struggled was side post-ups,” head coach Chris Holtmann said. “We got it there but we weren’t really efficient when we got it there because their post traps bothered us. … I thought Zed was terrific in early post-ups. It’s something we work on every day and Zed Key was fantastic in early post-ups, early clock post-ups. I thought he was fantastic tonight.”

Behind the Boxscore: An Inside Look at the Buckeyes’ Win over Penn State

Key was less productive in the second half and only played a total of nine minutes but still ended up as one of three Buckeyes in double figures, scoring 11 points in his best performance since the Nebraska game on December 30 when he poured in 14.

Having depth off the bench will prove to be key throughout the rest of the Big Ten season and Key has proven that he can give the Buckeyes a lift when they need it.

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