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Men’s Basketball: Buckeyes roll past Miami (OH) 84-64 with seventh straight win

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Senior forward Zed Key (23) had his first double-double of the season in Ohio State’s 84-64 win over Miami (OH) Wednesday at Value City Arena. He finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Credit: Caleb Blake | Photo Editor

In a strong team performance, Ohio State defeated Miami (OH) 84-64 with the help of a double-double from senior forward Zed Key Wednesday night at Value City Arena.

Key finished the night with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Buckeyes (8-1, 1-0 Big Ten) were able to shake off early adversity from the Redhawks (4-4, 0-0 MAC), who never threatened Ohio State’s lead after falling behind midway through the first half.

“Credit to Miami; they really fought as I expected them to, Travis’ teams are always a tough and hard-nosed group of guys,” head coach Chris Holtmann said. “I saw a lot of good things, but also some that we’ve got to work on.”

The Redhawks got off to a hot start, making four out of their first six shots, but a steal and slam by Ohio State sophomore guard Roddy Gayle Jr. gave the Buckeyes their first lead just over five minutes into the affair.

Ohio State forced six Miami turnovers in just over eight minutes of first-half play, scoring 9 points off the early Redhawk mistakes.

Key made a big impact for the Buckeyes in the first half, notching 8 points and seven boards, including six on the offensive end.

“I thought Zed’s six offensive rebounds were tremendous,” Holtmann said. “There was really good effort on the glass there in the first half.”

Graduate guard Dale Bonner hit a 3-pointer from the wing to give the Buckeyes a 9-point lead with under nine minutes left in the first half.

A 9-2 Ohio State run that spanned nearly three minutes put the Buckeyes up 37-21 with a little over two minutes to play in the period.

Key capped off the run with a fast-break dunk and gave the Buckeyes what was their largest lead of the half.

A layup in the final seconds by Gayle put the Buckeyes up 13 before the break.

Ohio State and Miami traded baskets through the first three minutes of the second half, with each squad hitting three out of their first four shots.

A lob from graduate guard Jamison Battle to Key gave the Buckeyes a 17-point lead with just under 13 minutes left to play in the contest.

Battle led the way for Ohio State coming out of the locker room, scoring 11 points in the first 12 minutes of second-half play.

A strong finish and-one by sophomore guard Evan Mahaffey put the Buckeyes up 22 with seven minutes left in the game.

“I think one of the biggest things for me within the last two games has just been being constant in my faith,” Mahaffey said. “Being able to stay consistent with my work and knowing that I’ll eventually get shots to fall.”

Redhawk sophomore center Jaquel Morris attempted to mitigate the damage done by Ohio State’s attack with an all-around performance of 11 points, 10 boards and four assists, although his efforts couldn’t slow down the Buckeye offense.

The turnover battle proved to be the difference in the match, with Ohio State holding a 17-point advantage on points off turnovers against Miami.

Ohio State was able to coast to victory in the final minutes of the contest, riding a lead of at least 20 points through the last six minutes of the game.

The Buckeyes hope to win their eighth straight and move to 2-0 in conference play when they face Penn State Saturday at 6 p.m. in State College, Pennsylvania. Big Ten Network will broadcast.

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