If Sunday’s game between Ohio State and Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J., comes down to a last-second shot, the Scarlet Knights feel good about their chances with the ball in Cam Spencer’s hands.
The junior transfer from Loyola-Maryland has twice nailed late 3-pointers to lift Rutgers (12-5, 4-2 Big Ten) to victories.
The most recent was Wednesday when his shot from distance with 14 seconds left gave the Scarlet Knights a 63-62 lead over Northwestern. He added two free throws with five seconds remaining for the 65-62 final.
On Jan. 2, Spencer drilled a trey with 13.3 seconds left for a 65-64 win at then-top ranked Purdue. He’s 19 of 30 (63.3 percent) on 3-pointers over his past five games and 40 of 83 (48.1 percent) for the season.
“I’ve been trusting the work I put in and staying poised in the big moments,” he said.
The Buckeyes (10-6, 2-3) have lost three straight, including two in the closing moments.
“This is our first time facing adversity so it should be good for us to learn how to get up out of this and really stick together as a team,” Ohio State captain Isaac Likekele said.
Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer hit the winning three-pointer with 11 seconds left for a 71-69 win on Jan. 5.
On Thursday, Ta’Lon Cooper made a free throw with 1.7 seconds left to put Minnesota ahead 68-67. Two foul shots by Dawson Garcia after a Buckeyes turnover gave the Golden Gophers the 70-67 victory.
“We can’t sulk on this one,” Ohio State guard Sean McNeil said afterward. “(We’ll) take the time that’s reasonable to figure out how to get better from this loss and focus on winning at Rutgers.”
The Dec. 8 game between the Buckeyes and Rutgers ended in controversy when Ohio State’s Tanner Holden made a 3-point buzzer beater for the 67-66 win. The Big Ten admitted the next day the shot shouldn’t have counted because Holden was the first player to touch the ball after coming in from out of bounds.
–Field Level Media