COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State guard Malaki Branham has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week following his 35-point performance in the Buckeyes’ 87-79 overtime win at Nebraska on Sunday.
Branham’s previous career high was 11 points, which he shattered within the first 13 minutes of Sunday’s contest.
Noting Branham’s Performance
- The 35 points are the most by an OSU freshman in a Big Ten game and second only to Jared Sullinger who scored 40 vs. IUPUI as a freshman in 2010
- The 35 points also tie Keita Bates-Diop for the most by any OSU player in a Big Ten game since 2000
- Branham’s six three-pointers tie an OSU freshman record for the most in a single game. He entered the night just 5-of-15 combined from long range on the season
- His 13 field goals are tied for the second-most by an OSU freshman in a game in program history
- The 35 points are also tied for the second-most in a game by any freshman in the country this season
The true freshman from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s poured in 21 points in the first half, including five three pointers.
“I’m just trying to tell myself keep being aggressive and I kept being aggressive, shots kept falling, so really I just got to be consistent. That’s the biggest word for me just keep being consistent and keep being aggressive,” Branham said after the win.
Branham has been a mainstay in the Buckeyes’ backcourt along with Meechie Johnson and Jamari Wheeler.
“I’ve been on him about being more aggressive almost every game, particularly coming off ball screens,” OSU coach Chris Holtmann said. “He’s growing. His game’s growing.”