Men's Basketball

Men's Basketball Drops Heartbreaker Against Ohio State, 54- 51

UMass' Micah Brand pulls in a rebound over two Ohio State players during the first half.

UMass' Micah Brand pulls in a rebound over two Ohio State players during the first half.

Dec. 10, 2000

Box Score

AP Sports Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ken Johnson scored 16 points and blocked nine shots but Ohio State needed Brent Darby's two clinching free throws with less than a second left to beat Massachusetts 54-51 on Sunday.

Ohio State (5-2) won its third in a row while Massachusetts (1-5) lost its fifth consecutive game.

The Buckeyes led by as many as 13 points in the first half and were on top by eight with just over 3 minutes remaining.

But 3-point field goals by Winston Smith and Monty Mack - who led the Minutemen with 22 points - cut the lead to 50-47 with 1:30 remaining.

Zach Williams hit a drive in traffic to put Ohio State ahead by five before Kitwana Rhymer made a foul shot with 9.1 seconds remaining to make it 52-48.

After Rhymer missed the second shot, Ohio State's Boban Savovic tipped the ball out to Shannon Crooks, who missed a 3-pointer. On the play, Massachusetts' Micah Brand hung on the rim and was assessed an indirect technical, resulting in one foul shot for the Buckeyes before UMass was given the ball out of bounds.

Brian Brown missed the technical shot with 4.2 seconds. UMass then inbounded under its own basket and Crooks hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to cut it to 52-51 with 1.9 seconds remaining.

Darby was fouled on the inbounds play and hit both shots. A long UMass heave came up short after the buzzer.

UMass stayed in the game despite hitting just 15-of-59 shots from the field (25 percent). Johnson had more blocks than the Minutemen had field goals until there was less than 10 minutes remaining.

The Buckeyes scored the first eight points and never trailed. Johnson had three blocks before the Minutemen got on the board on Rhymer's inside shot at the 15:02 mark of the first half.



By halftime, with Ohio State on top 26-13, Johnson had seven blocked shots and Massachusetts was 5-for-30 from the field (16.7 percent).

Johnson added two more blocks at critical points of the second half. It wasn't until just 9:38 remained when the Minutemen finally had more field goals (10 of 49) than Johnson had blocks.

Still, the Minutemen wouldn't go away.

They hit 15-of-18 free throws, making seven in a row before Rhymer's miss in the final seconds.


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