NEW YORK - Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored seven of his nine points in the final 33 seconds and No. 3 Ohio State rallied from an eight-point deficit with 1:54 to play to beat Notre Dame 64-61 on Saturday night in the BlackRock Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The Buckeyes (12-0), who had a woeful second half from the field, closed the game on a 14-3 run and Smith was the key to the closing spurt.
Jerian Grant hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock was expiring to give the Fighting Irish (8-4) a seemingly comfortable 58-50 lead with 1:54 to play.
But the Buckeyes turned up the defensive intensity and they converted consecutive steals into a 58-56 deficit with 40 seconds to go.