National Basketball Association
Xavier 71, Ohio St. 65
When: 6:30 PM ET, Thursday, November 18, 2021
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Officials: # Courtney Green, # DJ Cartensen, # Bo Boroski
Attendance: 10379

Paul Scruggs scored 10 of his 14 points in the final three minutes, and Xavier defeated visiting No. 19 Ohio State 71-65 in Cincinnati on Thursday.

Jack Nunge had 14 points and 14 rebounds and Nate Johnson added 12 points for the Musketeers (3-0).

E.J. Liddell led the Buckeyes (3-1) with 17 points and eight blocks. Meechie Johnson Jr. scored 14 points and Kyle Young added 12.

Scruggs, who averaged 20.0 points his first two games, was held in check until he broke out late, including a slam over Liddell with 25 seconds left for a 67-62 lead.

Jamari Wheeler made a 3-pointer for Ohio State to make it a two-point game before Scruggs made two free throws with 16 seconds left for a 69-65 score. That was followed by his steal with four seconds left to seal the win as he made two free throws after being fouled.

Ohio State, which trailed 35-26 at halftime and was down as many as 11 in the second half, pulled to within 63-59 on an old fashioned 3-pointer by Young with 1:34 left.

The Musketeers' biggest lead of the first half was 35-24 with 29 seconds to go. They were ahead 29-21 at the 2:06 mark when Liddell went to the bench with his second foul, having scored only four points.

Xavier forced the Buckeyes into uncharacteristic play with its defense. Ohio State had shot more than 50 percent from the floor in its past two games but through 20 minutes hit 33.3 percent (10 of 30) and finished at 38 percent for the game.

The Musketeers converted nine first-half turnovers into eight points. The Buckeyes entered averaging 11 turnovers a game; they finished with 13.

Each team was without a key player. Xavier forward Zach Freemantle has yet to play this season but is close to returning from foot surgery. Ohio State announced Thursday that forward Justice Sueing would be out for an extended period due to an abdominal injury.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Ohio St.   Xavier
E.J. Liddell 17 Scoring Jack Nunge 14
Jamari Wheeler 6 Assists Adam Kunkel 4
Eugene Brown III 8 Rebounds Jack Nunge 14
Kyle Young 5 Free Throws Made Jack Nunge 4
Jamari Wheeler 2 Steals Jack Nunge 3
E.J. Liddell 8 Blocks Colby Jones 2
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Ohio St. 65 37.7 8-21 11-13 15 34 9 3 13
Xavier 71 40.0 5-24 14-17 14 41 5 10 11