This recap is going to be Hobbesian: nasty brutish and short. The Buckeyes traveled to the cornfields of Nebraska to right a wallowing ship, having lost three straight games to drop to 15-3. They are now 15-4, 2-4 after losing to Nebraska in basketball, 68-62. Yes, you read that right. This had some similarities to the MSU game in that Ohio State dug a deep hole in the 1st half, mounted a frenetic comeback, then ran out of gas coming down the stretch. To me, this team is in a bit of a funk right now. They just aren’t playing “right” you name a facet of the game, and that facet needs improvement. Right now, this is not that good of a ball team. Opponents no longer fear playing us.
The game progressed for the 1st half being “horrific” to the 2nd half being “I can’t believe we can’t play better than this”. It was one of those nights. The Bucks made a bit of a run in the last 25-30 seconds or so, but the results were just cosmetic. For the evening, Ohio State shot 39% from the field and 29% from 3-pt range. They continued their atrocious free throw shooting by hitting 14-21, 67%. In contrast, Nebraska shot 50% from the field, 15% from 3-pt range and 77% from the foul line. The Buckeyes were outrebounded 33-27.
The Buckeyes were led by LaQuinton Ross (11 pts, 4 rebs) , Aaron Craft (12 pts, 7 rebs) and Lenzelle Smith Jr (10, 4). Sam Thompson came off the bench to contribute 9 pts and 4 rebs. The Huskers were led by Shavon Shields (18 pts, 9 rebs) and Terran Petteway (17 pts. 5 rebs).
Tonight’s game started out much the same as the game in Columbus, with Nebraska holding a slight lead at the midpoint of the 1st half. Except something went wrong; they kept expanding the lead to go into the locker room up 34-25. Were it not for 2 last second free-throws by LaQuinton Ross, it could have been double digits. The shooting woes continued for the Bucks as they finished the half shooting 31% (8-26) while the Huskers shot 56% (15-17). Quite a difference.
Thad’s halftime speech had some impact as OSU came out of the gates and outscored Nebraska 9-2 in the first three minutes to pull within 2, 34-36. An Aaron Craft layup at the 15:31 mark tied the game at 36. As the teams hit the mid-point of the 2nd half, Ohio State incredibly held a 1 point lead, 44-43, outscoring Nebraska 19-9 at that point in the half.
Over the next five minutes of play, both teams flatlined a bit on offense, with OSU hanging on to a 46-45 lead. OSU’s last FG was at the 5:56 mark. Points were still tough to come by for the Buckeyes as, at the 2-minute mark, the Huskers held a 51-49 lead. By the time we got to the 1:00 mark, the teams were locked in a free-throw contest, which rarely turns out well for Ohio State and Nebraska had a comfortable, “game-over” lead of 61-51.
Next game is Thursday with Illinois in Columbus, with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 PM EST tip-off. Television coverage will be on ESPN, check local listings; LiveChat will be provided here. Please stop in approximately 30 minutes before game time.