WHAT A PERFORMANCE! This is what it takes to win in the toughest conference in college basketball! Simply having the ability to score, make shots, and have an all-around balanced attack, while playing swarming defense is the key to success for any team; and Ohio State did that against Nebraska. Ohio State dominated both halves of the game, leading to a 90-54 win at home in a bounce-back game after the tough 71-70 loss to #19 Northwestern.
Buckeyes Balanced Scoring Attack
Ohio State’s ability to be a threat everywhere on the floor with almost every player is a massive advantage for this team. Obviously, the main concern is not having “the guy” that can go get you a bucket anytime it is needed. Usually, Duane Washington Jr. carries that role, but he is shooting under 40% from the field this season, even though he is averaging almost 15 points per game. As for this game, backup Center Zed Key led Ohio State at halftime with 8 points, and he was perfect from the field for the game (5-5 shooting, 4-6 from the free-throw line). Seth Towns and Justin Ahrens made some huge contributions as well, with 11 and 18 points, respectively. Towns shot just 2-5 from the field (1-4 from three) but made all 6 of his free throws. Ahrens shot 6-10 from the field, with all but one shot coming from three (6-9 from three). As for the starters, EJ Liddell scored just 8 points (3-5 shooting, 1-1 from three) in 19 minutes of action. Justin Sueing had 12 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes, shooting 5-8 from the field (1-4 from three). Duane Washington Jr. actually had a decently efficient performance, shooting 5-11 (3-7 from three) for 13 points. Ohio State had 16 assists to just 3 for Nebraska (yes, 3), and had 10 turnovers to 15 for Nebraska. Overall, Ohio State shot nearly 50% from the field, 38% from three, and 80% from the free-throw line.
This may have been the best defensive performance I have seen from Ohio State. Nebraska was held to just 3 assists and had 15 turnovers, as Nebraska shot horrendously for the entire game. They shot 28% from the field, 15% from three, and 71% from the free-throw line, which came through the results of Ohio State’s exquisite defensive performance. Ohio State also outrebounded Nebraska 45 to 35 in a game that was all Buckeyes all night long. A defensive performance like this will shut any team in the entire country down — besides maybe Gonzaga and Iowa.
Performances like this can carry a lot of momentum moving forward, and hopefully, that momentum does carry over. Ohio State has a brutal January ahead; they play at #21 Minnesota, home against Penn State, at #14 Rutgers, home in a rematch versus #19 Northwestern, at #15 Illinois, at #6 Wisconsin, then home against Purdue, and finish it off with #17 Michigan State. In their last two seasons, Ohio State has had awful January’s, so hopefully, the streak ends. Next up is a game at #21 Minnesota, who are coming off a huge win against Iowa in overtime and decimation of Michigan State. Guard Marcus Carr is probably a Top 5 player in the entire conference; he is currently averaging 24 points, nearly 4 rebounds, and 6 assists per game on shooting splits of 48/40/80 (FG%/3pt%/FT%). Ohio State HAS TO SLOW HIM DOWN in order to give themselves a chance.
Next Game: 1/3 @ #21 Minnesota (9-1) at 5:30 PM