Tuesday, February 27

Rutgers swings game in block of Malaki Branham

Feb 9, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Malaki Branham (22) shoots the ball as Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Ron Harper Jr. (24) and guard Caleb McConnell (22) defend during the first half at Jersey Mike's Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – If there was one play that fueled a furious comeback for Rutgers, it came with 2:29 to play and No. 16 Ohio State clinging to a lead.

Four seconds of game time earlier, the Scarlet Knights got a driving layup from Geo Baker to whittle what had been an eight-point Buckeye lead to four. Rutgers called timeout and deployed its full-court press, but Ohio State was ready. Freshman guard Malaki Branham, who was leading the Buckeyes with 19 points, made a feint and sprinted upcourt, where he took a pass in stride and had nothing but daylight ahead of him.

Ohio State basketball insider: Stay in the know with texts from beat reporter Adam Jardy 

Streaking in, Branham rose up for the momentum-quenching dunk. He never felt the closing speed of Caleb McConnell, who used every bit of his 6-7 frame to roundly reject Branham’s dunk from behind. In response, a Jersey Mike’s Arena crowd that was already on the verge of pandemonium went ballistic.

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