The Buckeyes entered tonight’s game against Northwestern looking to extend their winning streak (to two games!) and build some momentum prior to a regular season ending match against Michigan State. That they did, by moving to 21-6, 8-6 on the season with a 76-60 win over Northwestern. Since the Michigan loss, Ohio State is 2-0 in their 5-game stretch prior to hosting MSU to end the regular season. In a game that got chippy at around the 5 minute point, marked by player ejections (Cerina and LaQuinton Ross), the Buckeyes held their composure and overwhelmed the Wildcats in the 2nd half 39-27, after outscoring them in the 1st half 37-33.
Ohio State was led by four players in double figures; Amir Williams (16 pts), Sam Thompson (11), Aaron Craft (14) and Lenzelle Smith (14). Smith managed a double-double by pulling in 10 rebounds. In his first action of the season, Andrew Goldstein went scoreless. Darn it.
The Buckeyes shot 46% (23-50) and better yet, 44% (7-16) from the perimeter. The difference-maker was OSU’s foul shooting, as they outscored Northwestern 23-9 from the free throw line.
Northwestern was led by Drew Crawford (22 pts) and Tre Demps (14 pts). The Wildcats also shot 46% (23-50) from the field.
The Boilermakers visited the Buckeyes this evening in Columbus for the return match of their two game series. Despite a slow start, and a bit of back and forth play, the game was all Ohio State as the Buckeyes secured the 67-49 victory. Surprisingly, LaQuinton Ross led the Buckeyes in scoring with 17 points, closely followed by Lenzelle Smith Jr. with 16. For the Boilermakers, Kendall Stephens put together 12 points off the bench, while AJ Hammons and Rapheal Davis both earned 11 a piece. The win gave the Buckeyes their third straight in Big Ten play.
Things started from a defensive perspective. Both teams demonstrated good movement against the offensive motion, and forced a number of turnovers early. The first points weren’t even scored until two minutes had elapsed, and Purdue was able to net the first three buckets of the game. The Bucks simply struggled to find good shots on the offensive end, and weren’t able to score until the fifth minute of the game on a Sam Thompson ally-oop.
The momentum changed in a hurry following the first TV timeout. The Buckeyes went on an 8 point unanswered tear to put together a 10-0 run and claim their first lead of the game. It was only ended by a Kendall Stevens three pointer after four minutes had ellapsed. Things had changed as the Buckeyes settled down in their attack, focused on getting the ball low against Purdue’s man defense. OSU also worked harder on the boards and began to balance the rebounding numbers.
With both teams locked into the game, they settled down into a steady back and forth battle. For the most part, it seemed that when one team was locked in defensively, so was the opponent. If one them started to pick up on the offensive end, it was reciprocated on the other end. That said, there wasn’t much in the way of offense through the first twelve minutes. The Boilermakers shot 5-20, while the Bucks hit only 7-18 by the third TV timeout.
We continue with this weeks roundtable with our band of merry men who write how they really feel about all things Buckeye related. I really enjoyed the football and wanted to see how everybody felt about basketball today. As you can see there are plenty of thoughts around the shooty hoops(or lack there of that is Ohio State 2014.
How many times have you changed the channel while watching the men’s basketball team? Specifically, what is bothering you the most?
Empire Chris - If I turn on the game, I am keeping it on, unless there is OSU football to be had. That said, the shot selection from the Buckeyes is by far the most frustrating thing I have witnessed this season. There is no reason for this team to go 0-4 in B1G play, especially against teams like Nebraska.
Empire Ryan - I haven’t changed it mid game all season, but I did not watch the last game at Illinois at all. Frankly I think I needed a break from the chaos that is watching Ohio State play either football or basketball lately. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I may care too much. The Buckeyes have a way of reeling us back in even when it looks like all hope is lost during games. It happened in the Orange Bowl, against MSU in both football and basketball, and then the lack of offense on the court is a pure mirror of the lack of defense on field.
MOTSAG Jeremiah - I tend to watch the games on my phone or laptop so I dont change the channel. I think right now it is mainly a mental issue with the team. I wish they weren’t afraid to shoot and would shoot more. I also wish Amir Williams would get angry really angry.
Patrick - How many games have they played? The pure lack of shooting. It’s amazing they don’t have one guy to depend on to score and that Aaron Craft hasn’t developed some kind of shot in four years.
Charles - Since I live in Australia I don’t get a chance to watch many basketball games as they are often on when I am at work.
Mali - I’m not allowed to watch the shootyhoops, as per Eric’s mandate. What bothers me is how much that bothers me… I used to not care about basketball, but now I get as invested in watching the Basket-Bucks as I do the football ones… when I get to sneak in a glance at a game or two.
Ken - None. Inconsistency. For a team with a lot of upperclassmen on the floor, they don’t play like it.
Scott - I haven’t seen as many games as I would have liked but I have only changed the channel because of the way they are playing twice. Other channel changes come during timeouts.
WVaBuckeye – sadly, when I actually have time to watch the Buckeyes, I watch with my wife and she makes me turn the channel because they do poorly when we do watch, so yeah, there’s that!
Who is disappointing you the most on the men’s team? Read More
The Buckeyes (16-4, 3-4) hosted the Nittany Lions (10-10, 1-6) to try to move their winning ways to two in a row. This would be a challenge, since the Nittany Lions just took down Nebraska, the team that laid the wood to Buckeyes last week. Being the good hosts they tend to be, Ohio State and Penn State went to overtime before losing the game 71-70. A fumble-around effort by the Buckeyes at the buzzer had the expected outcome; we didn’t get the shot off. Thus ends OSU’s 18 game winning streak against PSU. Another subpar offensive night 38% and defensive night 48% allowed doomed the Buckeyes. The loss drops OSU to 16-5, 3-5, with their last two losses against Nebraska and Penn State. Ponder that for a bit.. Frankly, I don’t know what to say at this point, I welcome your thoughts..
Ohio State overcame early poor shooting 27% (2-11) through the 1st 8 minutes to end the half at 46% (13-28) shooting. Meanwhile, PSU was making 54% of their shots, so there was no opportunity to gain any separation on the Lions in the 1st half to have a lead 35-31.
Second half play was back and forth, with PSU tying the game a a little over a minute at 62 and kept it tied at end of regulation despite several OSU attempts as time expired. At the 7:45 mark in the half, Ohio State had an 11 point lead, 59-48. They gave up 11 points in less than 8 minutes.
Ohio State was led by LaQuinton Ross (16 pts, 7 rbs), Amir Williams (12 pts, 6 rbs) and Lenzelle Smith (15 pts, 3 rbs). Penn State was led by Brandon Taylor (19 pts, 4 rbs), D.J. Newbill, (25 pts, 8 rbs), Graham Woodward (11 pts, 1 rbs) and Tim Frazier (8 pts, 10 rbs.)
The Buckeyes are hoping to get back on the winning track versus Nebraska after a rough opening to the meat of conference play. Unfortunately, road wins tend to be harder to come by.
That goes double for this conference.
Thad Matta’s Buckeyes have now lost three games in a row at Michigan State, at home against Iowa, and at Minnesota. That murderer’s row wasn’t considered to be the toughest stretch in the conference slate, which does not bode well for the remainder of the season. This is also the first time Matta has lost three games in a row since 2008-2009, when games at Wisconsin (55-50), at Northwestern (72-69), and at home against Illinois (70-68) got the Buckeyes. That year was also the last time Fran McCaffery got the better of Thad Matta, as the Buckeyes fell to Siena in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Now that we’ve gotten the doom and gloom out of the way, it’s time to talk about the positives. The Buckeyes have been playing terrible basketball the last three games. The turnover numbers alone for Scott and Craft (26 in three games) are appalling, and the team as a whole have committed 51 in the same span. This is not typical Thad Matta basketball, and I’m sure he’s working hard to get the problems cleared up.
“Wait, I thought you said the doom and gloom was over?”
The Buckeyes welcome the Nebraska Cornhuskers to Columbus for the first OSU home game in the Big Ten this season. Through the first half, the Huskers gave as good as they got, sticking with the Buckeyes before falling apart late in the first half as the Buckeyes claimed a 84-53 victory. The Buckeyes were led in scoring by Amadeo Della Valle, who both scored 15 points on 5/5 shooting, 3/3 from beyond the arc. Joining him in double digits were Marc Loving and Shannon Scott with 13, LaQuinton Ross with 11, and Amir Williams with 10. For Nebraska, Terran Petteway tied ADV in scoring with 15, followed by Leslee Smith with 11.
The game started sluggishly for both squads in this early Saturday matchup. Neither team found much easy success against the opponents defense, except when a breakdown occured after a long rebound sequence. Ohio State’s issue, continuing from their game against Purdue, was the inability to buy a basket early, struggling with their shooting from all areas of the court, including free throws.
Despite Nebraska missing their big 7-1 boomer in the paint, Sergej Vucetic, due to the flu, the Huskers were not afraid of attacking the paint. They worked hard getting the ball low, and fought hard on the box-outs to earn themselves tough offensive rebounds. By being patient and taking what was available against the gritty OSU defense, Nebraska earned themselves a four point lead before the second TV timeout.
It helped Nebraska significantly that the Buckeyes seemed lethargic and uninterested in the game. While the defense was there, it didn’t have the same energy that they usually execute with. This reflected on the offensive end too, with sloppy shooting, and half-hearted motions. Finally, a little bit of intensity on the defensive end flipped Sam Thompson’s offensive switch, spurring him to score four unanswered points – his first in Big Ten play this season.
Amidst all of the revelry from last night (hoops win, amazing bowl game, good news from All American practices, traditional end of year festivities), we asked the staff to come up with some resolutions that members of the Ohio State football and basketball programs should adapt for 2014. Just for giggles, we’ve added a “wild card” where people could either make another “suggestion” or publicly announce one of their own.
Let’s see what they came up with:
The Buckeyes traveled to West Lafayette, IN to wrap up 2013 and kick off the B1G Conference play. Mackey Arena provides a great college basketball venue, and both teams responded, with Ohio State coming out with a 78-69 win.
Several players had excellent performances today. Ohio State had LaQuinton Ross’ career high 25 points and 12 rebounds, Lenzelle Smith Jr’s 14 points and Aaron Craft’s 10 assists. Craft did this with no turnovers. That’s right, no turnovers. For Purdue, the Johnsons, Ronnie (16 pts) and Teron (13 points) had great games, but center AJ Hammons was outstanding with 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Ohio State started out well enough with some good, patient ball movement, resulting in two quick baskets by Amir Williams and LaQuinton Ross. AJ Hammons responded with two free throws and a basket to keep pace.
Offensively, Purdue was having early success with the off guard coming across the key and either taking a jump shot at the foul-line extended or continuing the drive to the basket.
At the 12:00 mark, two free throws by AJ Hammons put Purdue up 17-15, but a tremendous end-to-end play by Aaron Craft resulted in a layup to tie it at 17-17. By the 10-minute timeout, Purdue moved ahead 19-17 on a Bryson Scott jumper. Despite the promising start, the OSU offense was stalling at the line (0-3) and from the perimeter (1-8), with Lenzelle being 0-3 at this point. Not good.