(Photo courtesy buckeyeextra.com. Game information courtesy OhioStateBuckeyes.com, ESPN.com)

Ohio State (12-7, 2-4) pulled a heist at Pinnacle Bank Arena with a last second win over Nebraska (9-9.3-3) 67-66 Wednesday evening. The game winning basket came off a C.J. Jackson to Marc Loving inbounds pass that Loving converted into a layup at (almost) the buzzer. The Buckeyes overcame poor ball handling in the first half (11 turnovers) and poor free throw (0-5) and 3-pt (1-5) shooting in the second half. Fortunately, the “effort” part of the game (rebounding, defense) carried the day for Ohio State.

Ohio State weathered hot Nebraska 1st half shooting (50%) to stay with ten points at the half, trailing 40-32. This, with Nebraska getting 36 field goal attempts to only 27 for Ohio State.

The Buckeyes had four players score in double figures; Marc Loving (15 points),  Jae’Sean Tate (13), JaQuan Lyle (13) and Trevor Thompson (10). Marc Loving led the Buckeyes in rebounding with 11 (2 offensive) and Trevor Thompson (9 rebounds, 6 offensive).

The Huskers also had four players in double figures: Tai Webster (18), Michael Jacobson (11), Evan Taylor (11) and Glynn Watson, Jr (10). (Note: As JC called it in his preview, Tai and Glynn would lead Nebraska, Yes, he was right).

Thoughts and opinions…

  • Marc Loving had one of his better games of the season against Nebraska. In addition to his double-double (15 pts, 11 rebs) he had 0 turnovers and made the game winning shot.
  • Trevor Thompson, despite fouling out, had another solid game for the Buckeyes. He hit his season average (10 pts, 9 rebs) despite limited playing time.
  • Due to Trevor’s foul problems and Micah Potter’s relative ineffectiveness, seldom used David Bell was called upon. In his 10 minutes, he responded well; he had 4 points, 3 rebounds, a block and generally had a solid game. Hopefully this game gets him back into Thad’s rotation, since there may be a need when OSU needs to “go big” with some combination of Thompson, Potter and Bell on the floor at the same time.
  • Three point shooting continues to be horrendous for Ohio State; they were 6-18. Fortunately, their worst 3-pt shooter (Tate) did not attempt any 3-pt shots. Unfortunately, their 2nd worst 3-pt shooter (Jackson) was 0-3.
  • At this point, there is very little reason for either Tate or Jackson to shoot 3’s. Both shoot under 20%, so there is very little threat of them scoring from long range. This gives the defense an opportunity to either sag to defend the inside or breakout for a long rebound fast break. Neither of which is good for Ohio State.
  • Free throw shooting was horrendous; 7-16 for the game. Marc Loving was a solid 3-4, while Tate, Thompson and Lyle were a combined 4-12. Only two Buckeyes attempted free throws in the 2nd half; Jae’Sean Tate (3) and Trevor Thompson (2). All five were missed.
  • Fortunately, I do have some good news on the offensive rebounding front. The doubled their OR rate from the MSU game by getting 40% (15 rebounds) of their missed field goals. This provided Ohio State with a 15-7 point edge in 2nd chance points. Nine of these rebounds and 12 of these 2nd chance points were in the second half. It underscores their complete whistle-to-whistle effort. Well done, Buckeyes.

This was an ebb-flow game by the Buckeyes and a game where they “gritted out” a win. Due to poor offense in the first half (turnovers) they were behind by 12 points at one point in the first half. Due to poor free throw and 3-pt shooting they could could build on a lead in the second half to put Nebraska away. Fortunately, they played for the full 40 minutes and pulled out the win. This is the effort they need to show for every game..

Up Next

The Buckeyes host the Northwestern Wildcats (15-4, 4-2) Sunday afternoon at VCA. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm EST. The game can be seen on BTN and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.