Welcome to Wednesday, the first of May… it’s officially grilling season (unless you live in California, where it’s always that time). Here’s today’s soundtrack; if you don’t know why, then… well… keep reading.
Gary Russell and I are covering the B1G Tourney live again although it’s not actually from Chicago! Some last minute travel plans fell apart and we are hanging out at his house in Zanesville covering the games! Hope you enjoy the updates!
#6 Iowa versus #11 Northwestern
The first half of the day one night cap has been all Iowa. They hold a 36-22 lead at halftime and the score doesn’t reflect how dominating the Hawkeyes have been. The Wildcats didn’t score until the 12:30 mark of the first half. Iowa has been very balanced on the offensive end. 8 different players have scored for the Hawkeyes, and none of socred more than 7 points. As painful as it is to say, Iowa’s Aaron White leads all scorers with 7 points. Northwestern is being led by Freshman Alex Olah’s 6 points.
Iowa didn’t quite dominate the second half like they did the first half as they did their best impression of Michigan in letting a team hang around. The Wildcats refused to go away getting the lead under ten several times and even down to seven at one point. Unfortunately for Northwestern, timely three point shooting from Mike Gesell and Roy Devyn Marble combined with a Flagrant One foul by Reggi Hearn kept pushing the Iowa lead back to double digits. In the end, Iowa knocked off Northwestern 73-59.
Iowa will now face Michigan State tomorrow evening at apprixmately 9:00 EST. We hope you enjoyed day 1 of the Big Ten Tournament. Remember to check back with us tomorrow as we update with all the action from Day 2 of the tournament! Read More
Here we are, another week. Grab your coffee and let’s get right to it.
A bit of a slow week, but not entirely dormant for Buckeye fans. Obviously, I’m referring to Jim Bollman being hired as OC by Michigan State after a quite brief stint as offensive line coach at Purdue. Evidently, Jim thought that he only needed a month or so to get the Purdue offensive line to the standards that we experienced in Columbus during his tenure. Since this chain of events involved Bollman, Mark Dantonio and Darrell Hazell, the Jim Tressel Coaching Tree is in full leaf.
Entering the week, the Buckeyes came off an impressive display of basketball, gouging the Gophers 71-45 in Columbus. Then Ohio State had a truly inspired effort to beat a tough, especially this time of year, Michigan State team, 68-60 on Sunday. On Wednesday OSU had an all too common experience in Evanston, toughing out a 63-53 win over a shorthanded Northwestern squad. There was quite a bit of ebb and flow until about the 3:57 mark, after ‘Zelle Smith’s 3-pointer gave OSU the lead 51-49. From that point on, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots by the Buckeyes ebbed the Wildcats into submission. Read More
After two intense, focused, well-played games against Minnesota and Michigan State, Ohio State went to Evanston for the return match against Northwestern. Despite being substantially undermanned, the game pretty much went as they usually do in Evanston. The Buckeyes took down the Wildcats 63-53. It was anything but easy, and everything you’ve come to expect when these teams play in Evanston. Lenzelle Smith led all scorers with 24 points while DeShaun Thomas scored 19 for the game. Northwestern saw only Tre Demps (14) and Dave Sobolewski (13) score in double digits for the game.
The Bucks squeaked out this win to get closer to a #4 seed in Big Ten Tourney. After exploding out of the gates, thanks to Lenzelle Smith Jr.’s 3-point deluge, the Buckeyes settled into some uninspired offense. After DeShaun Thomas got the show started with a field goal 17 seconds into the game, by the 17:00 mark, ‘Zelle was 3-3 from ‘3’. Halfway through the 1st half, OSU had a 20-10 lead. Things flattened out quite a bit as they only managed 9 more points and went into half 29-22.
Fortunately, the Buckeyes did manage to play some defense, limiting Northwestern to 7 field goals (35%), while committing 6 turnovers. This was a half of wasted opportunities; defense played reasonably well enough, but the offense hit stretches where it just stalled. For example, in the last four minutes of the half, OSU was 0-4 from the field.
The 2nd half started with aggressive play from the Wildcats as they got whistled for 4 fouls in just over a minute of play. They also found their range, making their first four FG’s and 2 Ft’s to pull with 2, 36-34. The 1st half offensive woes were solved for the moment. Meanwhile OSU went cold.
In the end, the Bucks managed to retake the lead with 3:50 to play on a trey by Smith. Then, similarly to the game in Columbus, OSU was able to gradually pull away for the final margin. The win moves the Buckeyes to 21-7, 11-5 for the season.
Riding a two game win streak, including last Sunday’s great win over the Spartans, the Buckeyes are now facing what may or may not be an extremely dangerous test – the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston, Illinois. The pretty kitties have a tendency to play tenacious basketball at home, and the Bucks haven’t always done so well against the Princeton Offense, but the sheer quantity of injuries to the ‘Cats might make it difficult for them.
Today’s game is scheduled for 7 PM EST on the Big Ten Network. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.
The Buckeyes got all they could handle this evening against a wounded but surprisingly game Wildcats team. Ultimately the foul situation for their front court, and the talent of the Buckeyes, spelled doom for Northwestern who fell by a final of 69-59. DeShaun Thomas led the Buckeyes with 22 points, and was joined in double figures by Lenzelle Smith (12), Sam Thompson (11), and Amir Williams (10). Northwestern also saw four players break double figures tonight, including Tre Demps (16), Kale Abrahamson (13), Reggie Hearn (12), and Dave Sobolewski (10).
Northwestern was capable of dressing only 9 players for this game due to the large number of injuries they’ve sustained this season. Most recently was the loss of Jared Swopshire which was expected to hurt the Wildcat’s scoring. That was not evident in the first few minutes of the game as OSU struggled to play with energy, particularly on the interior. OSU eventually managed to counter by finding success with Lenzelle Smith shooting the ball, and running Trey McDonald on the interior to try to ignite some intensity. Williams did come back into the game and was able to make his presence felt towards the end, but it wasn’t enough with the Wildcats raining in the three pointers with ease.
Thad Matta came out of the half with a strategy to attack Northwestern’s young front court which seemed to work initially. Northwestern responded by eliminating the easy passing lanes and forcing bad turnovers when the Bucks did try to enter the paint. The Wildcats weren’t able to consistently capitalize due to the Buckeyes finally entering desperation mode on defense, which kept the game well within striking distance despite the poor offense. OSU was finally able to turn things around, but at such a late stage in the game that there was no way to avoid a tight battle. By the end, Bill Carmody began to have serious trouble with the foul situation in his front court leaving him with few experienced options in a critical junction of a tight ballgame.
There’s only one thing to take away from this game as a fan – this is further proof of just how tough the Big Ten is this year. Northwestern came into a hostile environment with very few scholarship players left and gave it to the Buckeyes for the better part of 40 minutes of play. Carmody is simply a fantastic basketball coach and his players give him everything they have on a regular basis.
The team can take a lot from this moving forward. There are plenty of places they need to work on, but they were able to dig deep and gut out a tough win. It’s a lot easier to learn from a tough win than an ugly loss.
The Buckeyes are coming off consecutive losses to top competition in the B1G. Next up are Bill Carmody’s Northwestern Wildcats.
Today’s game is scheduled for 7 PM EST on the CBS. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.
Ohio State traveled to Northwestern riding their first Big Ten winning streak of the season after beating Indiana and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes made a change to the starting lineup for this one as Amber Stokes returned to the lineup, replacing Maleeka Kynard. Stokes had missed several games back in January due to an injury and then had come off the bench to great effect in the past few games.
Ohio State opened the game cold and Northwestern took advantage to score the game first six points. OSU responded though by attacking the paint and went on a 9 to 1 run to take a 9-7 lead with thirteen and a half minutes remaining in the half. Four straight points by the Wildcats gave them back the lead and the two teams began to trade baskets for the next six minutes with neither team able to build more than a three point lead. Northwestern led 19-18 with six minutes to go in the half when Ohio State went on a run, scoring 13 straight to take a 31-19 lead with two minutes left on the clock. The run was made in part by a series of fouls by the Wildcats which sent the Buckeyes to the line and several Northwestern starters to the bench with foul trouble, forcing the Wildcats to go to their rather thin bench. The Wildcats weren’t done though, closing the half on a 7 to 2 run to cut the OSU lead to 33-26 as the two teams headed to the locker rooms.