LAHAINA, Hawaii – Nestled into the mountainside that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, the Lahaina Civic Center’s location comes with a gorgeous view of the waves stretching toward the horizon.
Tuesday afternoon, the undulating hands of an Ohio State cheering section made their own waves behind the Buckeyes bench. In an island battle between Ohio State and Cincinnati five time zones and thousands of miles from home, third-year center Zed Key had just dunked on the Bearcats to give his team a 14-point lead less than two minutes into the second half.
As he does, Key raised the roof with hands outstretched above his head as he jogged back down the court. To his left, the Buckeyes fans followed suit, rows of scarlet-and-gray-clad tourists basking in the moment at the Maui Invitational.
It was one of many celebrations for the Buckeyes, who bounced back from an 88-77 loss to No. 17 San Diego State in Monday’s tournament opener and handed their in-state foe a decisive, 81-53 out-of-state loss.
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Zed Key led the Buckeyes with 19 points and had eight rebounds, Sensabaugh scored 17 points, freshman Bruce Thornton had a career-high 15 points and Sueing added 11 and six rebounds in his second game back in his home state.
“It was a little weird to fly out to Hawaii and play them,” Key said. “They’re an hour and a half down the road. It’s just another game, another team in front o