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The Columbus Dispatch - - Nhl - Ajardy@dis­patch.com @AdamJardy

the first half, and by 10 barely four min­utes into the sec­ond half, but Holt­mann was con­cerned about a lack of de­fen­sive de­flec­tions and about fouls com­mit­ted. Those seemed more press­ing, he said, than a hot-shoot­ing first half in which the Buck­eyes were 8 of 15 on three-point at­tempts.

So when Clem­son (6-1) kept it­self within strik­ing dis­tance, Tigers coach Brad Brownell cred­ited the “guts and grit” of his play­ers for fight­ing back.

In the Tigers’ first true road game and in front of an an­nounced crowd of 17,189 — 6,542 of whom were stu­dents given free tick­ets — they stymied Ohio State’s of­fense with a zone de­fense and took away some of the Buck­eyes’ perime­ter driv­ing with a big­ger lineup that blocked six shots, the most by an Ohio State foe this year.

Clem­son took the lead for good at 54-53 with 11:07 to play, the first time the Buck­eyes had trailed since 18:15 of the first half, and the Tigers con­tin­ued to push. When Mar­c­quise Reed made a free throw with 9:20 to play that gave Clem­son a 59-53 ad­van­tage, it was a 22-6 run.

Ohio State never again had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead. Af­ter turn­ing the ball over only five times dur­ing the first half, the Buck­eyes had nine sec­ond-half give­aways that led to 17 points as Clem­son outscored them 49-28.

“This felt a lit­tle dif­fer­ent (than the But­ler game), but it prob­a­bly stings a lit­tle worse be­cause we were at home,” said ju­nior for­ward Keita BatesDiop, who led Ohio State with 21 points. “I felt like we had the game out of con­trol, and then slowly they started mak­ing their run, and we started turn­ing the ball over, and we came un­poised, and that was the game right there.”

Brownell and Holt­mann im­plied that the Buck­eyes might have been tired from hav­ing played three games in three days in Port­land over the week­end, while Clem­son hadn’t played since Fri­day. Bates-Diop, who played 37 min­utes, de­nied that.

Ohio State has now lost three of its last four games — all against top-100 com­pe­ti­tion. Up next: a trip to Wis­con­sin, where the Buck­eyes open Big Ten play on Satur­day.

“I didn’t think we han­dled ad­ver­sity re­ally well and weren’t as con­nected as we needed to be and let frus­tra­tion get the best of us,” Holt­mann said. “I think we def­i­nitely took a step back­wards when it comes to” men­tal tough­ness.

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