Adonis Filer notched a season-high 23 points and Florida Atlantic handed Ohio State its first home loss of the season, 79-77 in overtime on Tuesday night. A mishandled pass by Marc Loving gave FAU a last-shot opportunity, and Nick Rutherford banked in a layup for the lead with one second left in overtime.
In a win that came as a surprise to most OSU fans, the Owls were vocally excited as they left the court and headed to the locker room. According to FAU coach Michael Curry, the win over the Buckeyes ranks as one of the best in program history. “This is one of the top two or three for sure,” Curry said. “We’re thankful for the opportunity to come up here and play a really good team.
Rutherford, who finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, was given the opportunity for the last shot. After dribbling near half court to drain the clock, he went one-on-one with Kam Williams. Even with little space, Rutherford said he was confident in his playmaking ability once he got a glimpse of daylight.
“Coach drew up a play. It was a zipper (a play) for me to catch at the top,” Rutherford said. “The goal was to get the last shot. I brought it into the middle, and I saw space in the paint, so I went around my man and put it off the glass.”
The Buckeyes lead by a point at halftime, and held an 11-point lead midway through the second half, but late turnovers and missed shots allowed the Owls to capture the win.
Jeantal Cylla and Frank Booker added 15 points apiece, while Ronald Delph grabbed 10 rebounds for the Owls (3-5).
Trevor Thompson scored 16 points before fouling out for the Buckeyes (7-2). JaQuan Lyle had 10 points and nine assists.
After the game, Lyle hung his head while talking to reporters, and had little in terms of an explanation for why his team failed to put enough points on the board.
“They were hitting really tough shots,” Lyle said. “I felt like we were playing great defense. I don’t know why we weren’t putting points on the board. We’ll have to watch film and look at that.”
Florida Atlantic depended on 3-point shots for most of the night, going 10 of 25 from the field. OSU struggled to find its range, and finished 4 of 20 from deep.
After trailing 5-0, FAU went on an 11-0 run to force a timeout by the Buckeyes. OSU started the game making just one of its first 10 shots.
Ohio State: There were very few easy shots for the Buckeyes, and for the second straight game Thad Matta’s team played down to an opponent. OSU next faces a Connecticut team on a down year, but the Huskies will be a test if the Buckeyes continue to play with little energy.
“We let everything affect us, and they outplayed us, there’s no question about that,” Matta said. “When things happen we have to be tougher and say, `We can defy this’ and who cares if they bank a 3-pointer.’ We have to go back down on offense and execute.”
Florida Atlantic: The Owls picked up their third win. Filer had an outstanding game, while FAU gained their first road win of the season.
Florida Atlantic travels to Miami to face the Hurricanes on Dec. 16.
By: Nick McWillaims