(Photo courtesy http://www.isha.sadhguru.org)
The Buckeyes, well, yeah again, dropped another one. This is their fifth loss in a Big Ten game – following Saturday’s loss to Penn State 90-76.
The Buckeyes knocked down nine 3-pointers (45%), made 21 of 29 free throws and three players scored in double figures. Yet, amazingly, they still found a way to lose – and by an embarrassing 14 points.
That 14-point difference is completely concreted in their failure to make 2-point shots (14-of-34, 41%), which has been the story of all four OSU conference road losses.
The last time the Buckeyes hit the court, it ended a four-game losing streak by blowing out Nebraska 80-68. The last time the Buckeyes played Penn State, it also won in a blowout, 106-74, in which Kaleb Wesson scored 28 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Both of those games took place in the Schottenstein Center.
Wisconsin is the only team this season to leave Columbus with a win over the Buckeyes. But on the road, OSU is still looking for its first win. In each loss, there has been one common premise: The ball hones in everywhere except the basket.
Against Minnesota, the Buckeyes shot just 38.3 percent while the Golden Gophers shot 54.4%, led by Marcus Carr’s season-high 35 points. In a loss to Maryland, OSU was out-shot 45.7% to 31.3%. Neither team shot particularly well in the Buckeye’s loss to Indiana, but there’s a significant difference between not shooting well at 40.8% vs. 32.7%.
The Nittany Lions provided a similar outcome as OSU’s blowout loss to Minnesota. Penn State made everything while the Buckeyes fought to keep up. The only players that were able to make shots were Duane Washington Jr. (18 points), Andre Wesson (12 points) and Kaleb Wesson (19 points).
Those three combined to shoot 16-of-29 (55%) and make all but one of Ohio State’s nine treys. The other six players to see action combined to make just six of 24 shots with D.J. Carton (nine points) making the only other three-point shot in time. That only aided in keeping Penn State’s trashing of the Buckeyes at 14 instead of something so much more.
It’s normal for teams to have a small drop-off in shooting efficiency when playing on the road. But for the Buckeyes — certainly not the best shooting team — to go from 51.3 percent at home to just 36.1 percent on the road in Big Ten play is why this team has only won one of its last six games and is 2-6 in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes will return home next Thursday for a rematch with Minnesota. A lot has changed since that first game in December when the Buckeyes were ranked No. 11 in the country. They may walk into that game unranked for the first time this season.
Ohio State can have nights where it gets hot from the field, but it has also shown the ability to tank quickly. This team has yet to locate that sweet spot. Until it does, home wins and road losses will continue to be the number(s) ticked into the record. Which will not ultimately prove to be any form of satisfaction, in hopes for the ‘Dance’.