COLUMBUS — One day before the game, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann knew what was just ahead on the horizon for his Buckeyes. Recently elevated to No. 16 in the nation, Ohio State was set to welcome in Syracuse as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

That meant grappling with Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim’s legendary 2-3 zone defense and all that comes with it.

“It’s like going to the dentist, and not just for a cleaning,” Holtmann said Tuesday afternoon. “And you’ve got to be able to endure that and you’ve got to be able to weather that.”

The Buckeyes did, in the early going. Eventually, the more experienced, longer Orange settled in, hit shots and pulled away for a 72-62 win to knock Ohio State from the ranks of the undefeated.

Undaunted at the opening whistle, Ohio State (6-1) came out aggressive and hit its first four shots to build an early 9-2 lead. But with the lead at 16-9, the offensive flow dried up and Syracuse (4-2) started to climb back in. An 8-1 run tied the score at 17 when Mark Dolezaj made a 3-pointer, and the Orange took its first lead of the game when Elijah Hughes hit one from straight-on to make it 24-21 with 5:54 left in the first.

C.J. Jackson made 5 of 6 free throws in the final 1:38 to help the Buckeyes reclaim the lead at 31-27, but Luther Muhammad fouled Tyus Battle to reset the shot clock and give Syracuse the final possession of the half. Battle then finished at the rim at the buzzer to make it a two-point Ohio State lead and set the stage for a tight second half.

Oshae Brissett, who had three fouls in the first half, scored on the opening possession of the second half to start a 10-2 run and push Syracuse’s lead to six points. Jackson came up with a steal, though, and when Muhammad fed Kyle Young on a drive behind the back line of the defense for a basket through contact, it gave a crowd that heard a first-half “Let’s go Orange!” chant new life.

It didn’t bother the Orange, though, even after the Buckeyes scratched out a 43-41 lead with 12:14 to play. Syracuse stifled the Buckeyes with a 14-2 run during which it scored on six consecutive possessions, building a 10-point lead with 8:57 to play that was the biggest deficit of the season for Ohio State.

It proved to be insurmountable despite a late Ohio State run. Drawing immediate attention every time he touched the ball, Kaleb Wesson missed seven of his eight field goals but hit 11 of his 14 free throws as two Syracuse post players fouled out while guarding him.

In being outscored 43-31 after halftime, the Buckeyes went 6 of 24 (25 percent) from the floor but kept things interesting by going 17 of 21 (81 percent) from the line.

Ohio State has now lost five straight ACC-Big Ten Challenge games. Its last win came at home against Maryland on Dec. 4, 2013, a 76-60 win.