They’ve been ranked as high as No. 3 in the country and have felt the pains of being unranked and unimpressive.
But now the Ohio State Buckeyes have a signature win and some momentum heading into the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan State’s Gary Harris missed a jumper as time expired and OSU came from behind to beat the Spartans 69-67 at Value City Arena on Sunday.
Ohio State said goodbye to seniors Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., and had a chance to say hello to the No. 4 seed and a much-coveted bye in the upcoming B1g money-maker, uh, tournament, but Wisconsin ruined that idea by choking against Nebraska Sunday night.
So Ohio State gets the No. 5 seed and a matchup against Purdue on Thursday. The winner gets Nebraska, which likely earned an at-large NCAA Tournament bid. That winner gets top-seeded Michigan.
LaQuinton Ross scored 22 points and had five rebounds while Craft had 12 points, 7 assists and became the conference’s all-time steals leader to help OSU overcome a pathetic 19-of-31 effort at the free throw line, which almost cost OSU in the final seconds.
Adreian Payne led all scorers with 23 points while Harris had 12 and Denzel Valentine 11.
The Buckeyes improve to 23-8 and 10-8 in the B1G. MSU, the No. 1 seed in the tourney, is also 22-8 and is 15-4 in the B1G.
It was one of those games where it felt like Sparty should have been blowing away the Buckeyes at times, but could only manage a 7-point lead as the game’s biggest spread.
More than once OSU was down at least five points but didn’t let that deter them from winning on Senior Day.
OSU trailed 38-36 at the half but began the second half with a 6-0 run, which ultimately sparked the Buckeyes to a 44-39 lead with about 17:30 left. Michigan State quickly answered and took a 49-44 lead with 16:56 left on a pair of Harris 3-pointers, a Payne dunk off a Harris assist and a Travis Trice dunk.
That led to an OSU timeout with 15:16 left.
Harris hit a pair of free throws to increase the lead to 51-44 and a cap a 12-0 run.
Craft hit a pair of free throws to end the run and make it 51-46 with about 14 minutes left.
Harris then hit a long catch-and-shoot bucket to increase the lead back to seven with about 13 minutes left.
But OSU wasn’t done despite having no real go-to scorer.
Amir Williams made one of two from the line and a Ross 3-pointer cut it to 53-50 after the under-12 timeout. Trice missed a shot, the Buckeyes rebounded and after a foul at the other end and Shannon Scott hit a pair of free throws to cut it to one.
That caused Coach Tom Izzo to bring his starters back in the game as he was resting Branden Dawson, Valentine and Keith Appling.
The Buckeyes rolled into Bloomington on Sunday afternoon, looking for a win. They rolled out on the short end of a 72-64 score to put them at (22-8, 9-8) for the season, with one regular season game to go. So, as of this evening, Ohio State stands in the fifth spot in the Big Ten conference; 1/2 game behind Nebraska.
Lenzelle Smith Jr and LaQuinton Ross led the Buckeyes with 19 points each, while Indiana was led by Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey, with 20 points and 19 points, respectively.
Ohio State shot 42% from the field (25-59) and shot 0% from 3-point range (0-11). They were also 61% (14-23) from the free throw line. Meanwhile ,Indiana shot 48% (24-50) from the field, 39% (7-18) from the perimeter and 81% (17-21) from the foul line.
In summary, Indiana could put the ball in the hoop, Ohio State couldn’t.
Ohio State’s season finale is next Sunday afternoon when they host Michigan State. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 PM EST, with television coverage provided by CBS. Of course, tBBC will provide LiveChat coverage, beginning approximately a half hour before tip-off.
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.
A last second FG attempt by Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker bounced away and Ohio State held on to edge Wisconsin 59-58 at Kohl Arena. Both teams needed to get back into the habit of winning after going through rough patches in their schedules. At this point, winning the Conference championship, regular season or tournament, is not likely going to happen, so the play is for eligibility to the NCAA’s in an “oh, we’ve got a couple of slots to fill” capacity. With the win, Ohio State is now 17-5, 4-5, as is Wisconsin
Ohio State was led by LaQuinton Ross (13 points) and strong bench play by Amedeo Della Valle (11 points) and Trey McDonald (6 points). Interestingly, Aaron Craft scored only 7 points, but they all came in the last four minutes of the game, to key a crucial stretch run. Ohio State shot 43% (21-49) from the field, but only 67% (12-18) from the free throw line.
Wisconsin was led by freshman Nigel Hayes (17 points) and Ben Brust (13 points). After starting the game 6-7 from the field, the Badgers ended up 18-45, 40%. In OSU’s closing run, they did get help from Wisconsin missed free throws, as the Badgers ended 19-29 for the game. Wisconsin’s last field goal was at the 6:44 mark, so their half court offense struggled down the stretch and aided in Ohio State’s come-back.
In the 1st half, the Buckeye defense roamed the paint much as Diogenes roamed the night; he was looking for a man of honesty, we were looking for a man to guard. At the half, Wisconsin held the lead 34-29. The Buckeyes were 36% (10-26) from the field, led by 15 bench points (Amedeo Della Valle – 9, Trey McDonald – 6). In addition to accurate shooting, ADV brought aggressiveness in looking to go to the paint.
After starting the game shooting 6-7 from the field, Wisconsin cooled off, ending the half shooting 44% (9-20), led by Ben Brust’s 12 points.
At the under-16 mark, OSU trailed 9-6. After OSU jumping to a quick 4-0 lead, Wisconsin ran off 9 consecutive points, before a Trey McDonald put-back staunched the bleeding a bit. At 10:15 mark, OSU trailed 20-16, with the offense driven by Amedeo Della Valle’s 6 points and Trey McDonald’s 4 points, all off the bench. OSU shooting 37%, Wisconsin 67% from the field. At 7:33, Wisc up 22-13. Under-4, down 26-23. both teams cooled off, Wiscy shooting 44%, OSU 36%. Both teams muddled around, with the half ending with the Badgers up, 33-29, on a Ben Brust hustle put-back.
Ohio State began the 2nd half on a 9-0 run to take a 38-35 lead. At the 15-minute timeout, Ohio State held a 42-39 lead driven by 6-6 (not a typo) from the field. At the under-12 point, Ohio State still led, 44-43, thanks to an ADV ‘look what I found’ put-back. At the 8:30 mark, Wisconsin retook and grew the lead, 51-44. Of Wisconsin’s 18 second half points, Ohioan Nigel Hayes scored 11, on 5-5 shooting. By the time we get to the under-4 timeout, Wisconsin’s lead was down to 1 point, 54-53. As missed bunny shot, and turnover by Lenzelle Smith with :08.4 kept Wisconsin in the game. Alas, a Sam Dekker FG clanked away and Ohio State comes away with the win
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
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.
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 #11 Ohio State Buckeyes (15-2, 2-2), have dropped two consecutive games and 8 positions in the national rankings. Now they travel to The Barn to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-2). Ohio State is coming off a bit of a beat down against Iowa, while Minnesota took MSU to overtime before losing 87-75. Both teams sit at middle of the pack in conference play and need to start winning, since they have each lost against B1G leader Michigan State. In overtime, no less..
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