All it took was an 11-0 run early in the first quarter for the Ohio State Buckeyes, as they rolled into the half with a sixteen point lead — bringing home their second victory of the season against Nebraska by a final of 79-45.
Despite Jared Sullinger missing a major chunk of the first half, the Buckeyes were able to pull away in a very quiet domination early and late in the first. Aaron Craft hit a three point jumper with 15:31 on the clock to tie the ballgame at eight. After the assist from Jared Sullinger, the big man would then distribute the basketball off to Lenzelle Smith for an easy layup. Deshaun Thomas would then nail five of his ten first half points on a layup and three pointer back to back making it 15-7 with 12 minutes to go in the first.
After William Buford drained a big three pointer with a hand in his face, with three minutes remaining in the half, The Buckeyes would go to the line six times down the stretch. With six seconds left, Aaron Craft drove the near sideline, pinballed through three defenders, and found an open Evan Ravenel in the low post, who kissed the glass to head into the second.
Ohio State would come out of the gates in the second on a 5-0 run. After a William Buford three made it a 19 point lead, the senior would find Deshaun Thomas on back to back trips to make the lead 22. After a tomahawk jam made it 41-21, Thomas forced a timeout on a two point jumper.
After struggling to find a rhythm in the first, Jared Sullinger would have a field day midway five minutes into the second. After going to the line and sinking two, Sully would tip in a second chance opportunity, to outdo his first half totals. He would get to the line several times, hit a three point shot, and score 12 of his 14 points in the second.
William Buford led all scorers with 15 points. He shot 6/13 from the field and his three point field foals all came at key times, serving as a dagger to any hopeful Cornhusker momentum. He went 3/5 from downtown.
Overall, one of the major keys in the domination of play was the ability to shut down Nebraska’s long range game. The Huskers went 2/15 from three point range. Their inability to hit shots led to many frustrated fouls in the second half. Starting guards Bo Spencer and Brandon Richardson would both foul out late in the ballgame.
The other major factor in blowing out Nebraska was forcing a season high 25 turnovers. Early the Buckeyes weren’t able to capitalize, but settled in to take advantage of nearly every regained possession.
With six minutes left to go, OSU was able to empty their bench and get some solid playing time for Shannon Scott, Amir WIlliams, LaQuinton Ross, J.D. Weatherspoon and Jordan Sibert and Trey McDonald.
Overall, the Buckeyes shot 26/60 (43%) from the field and 8/21 (38%) from three point land. The struggle from the charity stripe continued for the Buckeyes. Tonight it was to the tune of 19/29. Despite the lopsided victory, Ohio State was outrebounded 37-31.
Up next for the Scarlet and Gray is a Wednesday match-up with Penn State at Value City Arena