(Photo courtesy dispatch.com. Game information courtesy OhioStateBuckeyes.com, ESPN.com)

That was pretty bad basketball.

Ohio State (15-13, 5-10) lost to  Nebraska (12-14, 6-8)  58-57 on Saturday evening. Turnovers, poor shooting and questionable on-floor decisions lost the game for Ohio State. With :32 remaining in the game, OSU was up 57-52, which normally would be a safe’ish lead. Not this team, not this evening.

In JC’s preview, he advised the Buckeyes to play well against Jack McVeigh. He also felt Ohio State could eke out a narrow (1 point) win. Well, McVeigh had a fairly efficient 11 points. In the waning minutes of the game, McVeigh scored 5 points to keep the Huskers within a basket. With :12 remaining, the Buckeyes had a 2 point lead, until they didn’t.  I’d say that JC nailed his caveats.

In the first meeting this season, the Buckeyes weathered a Spartan storm (6-6 from the field) in the first five minutes.  On Tuesday the precipitation was provided by MSU’s Alvin Ellis III  who rained 5 3-pt scores in a 3:38 stretch in the first half.This game was fairly evenly contested, but it turned on two factors; Ohio State shot poorer than Michigan State and OSU’s transition defense was awful.

The Buckeyes had three players score in double digits; Jae’Sean Tate (14 points), Marc Loving (13) and Trevor Thompson (13). Jae’Sean double-doubled by getting a game high 10 rebounds.

The Spartans had four double-digit scorers; Tai Webster – of course (17 points), Glynn Watson, Jr (14), Jack McVeigh (11) and Ed Murrow, Jr (10). Michael Jacobson led the Huskers with 6 rebounds.

Thoughts and opinions…

  • (Per ESPN) Afterward, Ohio State coach Thad Matta, whose team assured him of the first losing league record of his coaching career, couldn’t quite find the words to explain how the Buckeyes blew it.

    “Dumbfounded,” Matta said.

A succinct summary by Thad.

  • Despite Nebraska shooting poorly (38%) from the field, they shot “well enough” when they needed down the stretch. In the last 2:30 (or so), Nebraska, down 4 points, the Huskers went 4-5 from the field, 1-1 from foul line and had 1 turnover.
  • In contrast, Ohio State was 1-2 from the field and had 4 turnovers. In the last seconds of the game Andre Wesson, committed 3 fouls in a span of 10 seconds, the last one leading to the game winning free throw. His first two fouls occurred at the :19 and :15 mark remaining in the game with Ohio State holding a two point lead. I don’t get it.
  • JaQuan Lyle still doesn’t seem to be back fully integrated into this team after his hiatus. In 20 minutes of floor time, he was 1-1 (2 points) from the field. For a player of his offensive skills, and on a team that really needs those offensive skills,  his discombobulation had an impact.
  • I thought Ohio State got a good performance from the post position. Trevor Thompson and Micah Potter combined for 19 points and 10 rebounds. And, they were whistled for only 3 fouls – a significant improvement.
  • The Buckeyes seppukued themselves with turnovers.They had 18 turnovers for the game. As a result, they had far fewer (46) field goal attempts than Nebraska (60). The Buckeyes shot a little better (41%) than Nebraska (38%), but having a 14 shot FG differential is tough to overcome. That’s a lot of empty possessions and wasted time.
  • The Huskers took advantage of the Buckeyes generosity; they outscored Ohio State 23-15 in points off turnovers..
  • Ohio State had 19 field goals and 18 turnovers. The only Buckeyes who had more FGs than TOs were Thompson (6-1) and Potter (2-1). Yes, OSU’s centers were more efficient ball-handlers than OSU ball-handlers.

Like Thad, I’m dumbfounded.

Ohio State has three remaining games in the regular season. They already have clinched a losing conference schedule. With remaining games against Wisconsin, Penn State and Indiana, they could very well having a losing record this season. Don’t worry, it’ll be over soon.

Up Next

The Buckeyes host #11 Wisconsin (21-5, 10-3) on Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 pm EST. The game can be seen on ESPN and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.