The Buckeyes tried to get off their two-game losing streak by taking a trip to The Barn Thursday night. Not an easy task.
In a back-and-forth contest, the Buckeyes ended up on the short side 63-53; their 3rd consecutive defeat and 2nd by double digits. To be honest, this team looks lost and without identity and is not playing with confidence right now. The issues that plagued them against Iowa were still present; no defensive answer for opponent inside play (Eliason had a double-double) and poor shooting (35% FG, 61% FT). Coming down the stretch in the 2nd half, players were passing up shots. Game narrative is below, read at your peril.
On to game action; OSU got off to a less than solid but good enough start, and at the under-16 held a 7-4 lead, highlighted by a 3-pointer by LaQuinton Ross. At the 15 minute mark, Minny had 5 turnovers and OSU was playing much more aggressive interior defense, a welcome sight from the previous game. They were only 3-12 from the filed, so it wasn’t all rosy. Of course, Minnesota took a cue from Iowa and played a good bit of zone defense to force OSU to beat them with actual shooting.
Moving to the under-12, OSU held a 9-6 lead, and Minnesota was “winning” the turnover battle 8-0. As poorly as OSu was shooting 21% (3-14), it helped that Minny had that many turnovers. However, the Gophers picked up the intensity at that point with man-to-man full court pressure which resulted in 2 quick Minny baskets to give them the lead 10-9.