(Picture courtesy of http://www.the-ozone.com)
The Ohio State Men’s basketball team needed this one – after losing five in a row, and not winning at all thus far in 2019 – it was needed.
For the first time in twenty-one (21) years – the five game consecutive losses was the longest in Buckeye history since the 1997-98 season – facing Nebraska, certainly with no disrespect intended here, was needed medicine. The Cornhuskers have lost four of their last six games …. and now five of their last seven.
Both the Buckeyes and the Cornhuskers came into this one looking for a win in the desperate need to locate some momentum. The Buckeyes would be the ones to find it while the Cornhuskers now continue their frustration. The win, corny as it all seems, keeps the NCAA Tournaments hope(s) alive. As TTUN is coming up ,… we’ll deal with that later …. This win, 70-60 over the Cornhuskers in Lincoln, was the Buckeyes first Big Ten win since December 5th.
The Buckeyes took a 12-2 run to end the first half and held the lead for the majority of the final 20 minutes, outscoring Nebraska 41-36 as they headed towards their third conference victory of the season.
After shooting 16.7 percent from 3 in the first half, the Buckeyes flipped the script and hit 7-of-15 from “center-field” in the second half, leading to the 10 point road victory.
Following Wednesday’s loss to Purdue, the Buckeyes head coach Chris Holtmann said his team would not be one that will get to the free-throw line frequently, but can improve on preventing its opponents from doing the same.
In this one, both the Buckeyes and the Cornhuskers combined for a single free throw attempt in the first half, one made by Junior forward Andre Wesson.
The teams finished with a combined 30 free throw attempts — 18 for Ohio State and 12 for Nebraska. The Buckeyes connected on 72.2 percent from the charity stripe.
Freshman guard Luther Muhammad came up big after struggling in recent games for Ohio State. After shooting 6-of-22 in his past three games, Muhammad finished with a career-high 24 points and six rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting, helping defensively with three steals.
Sophomore forward Musa Jallow earned his second start of the season for the Buckeyes after scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in his past game against Purdue. Jallow finished the game with five points and four rebounds.
Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson continued his recent struggles, committing three turnovers in the first half, forcing Holtmann to send his leading scorer to the bench for the majority of the opening 20 minutes.
The Ohio State University led 29-24 in the first half despite making 2-of-12 attempts from 3 and committing nine turnovers. This was thanks in part to a 25-12 rebound advantage, as well as holding Nebraska to 34.5 percent shooting in the half. The Buckeyes finished with a 45-31 rebound advantage against Nebraska.
The Buckeyes ended the first half on a 12-2 run to take the five-point lead, stopping the Cornhuskers from scoring in the final 2:47, forcing them to miss nine of their final 10 shots from the field.
Redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods led the Buckeyes with seven points in 10 minutes during the opening half, but scored two points in the second, failing to connect on four attempts from the field.
Next up: TTUN, the nationally 2nd ranked team, @ home, is next on the agenda for Chris Holtmann and his young squad. It’ll be on ESPN2 @ 9 p.m. on Tuesday the 29th. All haters of TTUN – allow us to kneel and start our novena. Remember the Miracle on Ice in 1980, or the 1985 NCAA Championships the Wildcats against the Hoyas, Spinks against Ali, or Douglas against Tyson? Things can happen. And now with the Buckeyes getting out of the way the frustration of a losing streak – why not start a winning streak?