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LAHAINA, Hawaii – Justice Sueing scored a career-high 33 points as Ohio State led its senior captain to an 80-73 victory over No. 21 Texas Tech in the fifth-place game of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday.
The win lifts the Buckeyes to 5-1 in the young season, while Texas Tech falls to 4-2. This was Ohio State’s fourth trip to the Maui Invitational and the Buckeyes finished with a 2-1 record in all four appearances.
Sueing made 23 of her 33 in the second half, scoring 15 straight points down the stretch. He was 8 of 8 from the free throw line and also finished with eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.
As a team, the Buckeyes were 18-for-18 from the free throw line. That hasn’t happened in a game for Ohio State since 2006.
In addition to Sueing, Sean McNeil finished with 13 points thanks to a pair of 3-pointers and 5 of 5 from the free throw line.
Freshman Brice Sensabaugh scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting and 2-of-3 from long range. He is now only the third Buckeye freshman in the last 40 years to score 10 or more points in each of his first six varsity games, joining Michael Redd in 1997 and Jimmy Jackson in 1989.
Zed Key added nine points, two assists and a pair of blocks. Freshman point guard Bruce Thornton handled Texas Tech’s pressure well, finishing with nine points, four assists and just two turnovers in over 38 minutes.
The Buckeyes used an early 10-0 run to build a 17-7 lead seven minutes into the game. McNeil scored eight of the 10 points with a pair of 3-pointers. The streak extended to 16-3 after 3-pointers by Thornton and Sensabaugh.
Texas Tech slowly pulled away from the lead the rest of the half and trailed just 41-37 at halftime. The Buckeyes shot more than 53 percent in the first half and Sueing and Sensabaugh had 10 points to pace the team.
In the second half, the Buckeyes pushed the lead back to 11 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Thornton and Sueing and Texas Tech responded, cutting the lead to four points on a couple of occasions. But each time, the Buckeyes and Sueing were able to respond. Sueing made three free throws the first time, and then had a three-point play the second time. Both were crushing for the Red Raiders. Tech was never able to come within a possession for the entire second half, as the Buckeyes’ offense was able to keep up.
Until next time
Ohio State will return home and enjoy Thanksgiving weekend with the family before hitting the road again to take on Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday, November 30 as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 pm and the game will be televised on ESPN.