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