COLUMBUS, Ohio — Duke’s time as the No. 1 team in college basketball will be short-lived.
Playing in their first true road game of the season, the Blue Devils hit only seven field goals in the second half en route to a 71-66 loss to unranked Ohio State, blowing a 13-point halftime lead and a previously unbeaten season in the process.
It was the ninth time in school history that the Buckeyes have beaten the No. 1 team in the country while being unranked. It’s the first time in 10 years that Duke has held a 10-point or more lead at halftime and lost.
Duke rose from No. 6 to No. 1 in the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll this week after beating Gonzaga — the previous No. 1 team — Friday night in Las Vegas. Now the Blue Devils (7-1) head into a two-week break coming off a stunning loss.
Behind 20 points from big man Zed Key and 14 points and 14 rebounds from forward E.J. Lidell, the Buckeyes (5-3) erased a 43-30 halftime lead and ended the game on a 14-1 run in the final 4:51.
“I thought we got worn out. They’re physical and they were fresh,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “It’s the most we’ve fouled and that’s uncharacteristic for us — and we were not able to finish. Our kids tried like crazy, but they were worn out.”
All of Duke’s starters with the exception of Trevor Keels had four fouls in the loss. Reserve center Theo John fouled out late in the game, leaving the Blue Devils short of an inside presence.
Duke only scored 23 points in the second half, hitting 7-of-31 shots while Ohio State found its rhythm from beyond the arc. The Buckeyes hit 5-of-10 from 3-point range in the second half, including a long jumper from Cedric Russell that cut Duke’s lead to two with 1:46 left in the game.
Ohio State struggled to make free throws — finishing 11-of-22 — but made its last five to steal the win on its home court. Duke’s final point came with 4:29 left on a Keels free throw to extend the lead to 66-59.
Wendell Moore led the Blue Devils with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Paolo Banchero, who struggled with foul trouble and had three fouls in the first half, finished with 14 points but hit only 4-of-14 shots.
Duke led 43-30 at the half, using an 18-4 run to turn a 13-7 deficit into a 25-17 lead. Banchero and Moore paced the Blue Devils with 10 points apiece despite Banchero picking up his third foul with 3:05 left in the half.
Moore had six rebounds and four assists as Duke outscored Ohio State 28-12 in the paint.
Ohio State struggled with ball control and free throws in the first half, giving up nine turnovers that led to 13 points for Duke and hitting only 3-of-10 from the charity stripe.
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Ohio State upsets No. 1 Duke in Big Ten/ACC Challenge