(Image courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, other information courtesy of teamrankings.com)
Ohio State again faced Nebraska short-handed. In the previous meeting, and win, the Buckeyes were without Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington, Jr. This game, they were sine Kyle Young. Ohio State went with a smaller starting lineup (Wesson, Wesson, Muhammad, Washington and Walker. They got away with it because Nebraska is a rather short team. E.J. Liddell got significant playing time, 20 minutes, and acquitted himself well.
Ohio State got off to a hot start (28 points through 9 minutes, 3.11 PPM) then cooled off considerably. The Buckeyes weathered this offensive funk because Nebraska is a very mediocre offensive team. Last night, “mediocre” would have kept them in the game.
Midway through the first half, Ohio State held a double digit lead, which also doubled he score, 28-14. The game was pretty much in the bag for the Buckeyes at that point.
The Buckeyes had three players score in double figures. Kaleb Wesson led the parade with 16 points, followed by CJ Walker with 15 and Duane Washington, Jr with 14. Kaleb pulled in a game, and career, high 18 rebounds. CJ had 3 of Ohio State’s 6 assists.
The Cornhuskers had two players in double figures. Dachon Burke had 13 points and Cam Mack had 12. Yvan Ouedraogo led Nebraska with 6 rebounds and Thorir Thorbjarnarso (Thor²) had 6 assists.
Ohio State shot 40% (25-62) from the field, 24% (6-25) from 3-point range and 79% (19-24) from the foul line.
Nebraska shot 36% from the field (21-59), 19% (3-16) from 3-point range and 64% (9-14) from the foul line.
Let’s get this out of the way; my Play of the Game was created by Duane Washington, Jr. With Harrison Hookfin at the scorer’s table, D-Wash’s “intentional” foul with :29 in the game stopped the clock to allow Harrison to check into the game. That is great situational awareness. Well done, Duane.
Ohio State’s defense worked well. Nebraska averages 70 points per game. They weren’t close to it Thursday night.
Their early game offense was, torrid. In the first 9 minutes, they averaged over 3 points-per-minute. That’s incredible.
E.J. Liddell “subbing” for Kyle Young. Although he didn’t start, E.J. did log 20 minutes. He grabbed 5 rebounds, 4 offensive and scored 8 points. He provided a physical presence in the paint for Ohio State.
Holtmann was in a tough lineup position Thursday. With Kyle out of the lineup, D-Wash and Luther spent a lot of time on the floor. Although both can perform well as a shooting guard, neither one is a good ball handler. They combined for 7 of OSU’s 9 turnovers.
Despite the 75 points, OSU’s shooting wasn’t good, especially the 3-point shooting. They went from near perfect in the first quarter of the game to null (0-12) in the second half.
The more I see of E.J. Liddell, the more I enjoy this young man. He’s on a three game stretch where he’s getting more confident with his offense, and his play in general. He play’s bigger than his height (6’6″) and he plays quicker and bigger than his height.
Even though Ohio State was short-handed and didn’t shoot well for most of the game, they still got a B1G road win by +20 points.
Right now. Ohio State would be a #7 seed in the B1G tourney. That would match them against #10 seed Indiana.
The Buckeyes host the Michigan Wolverines (18-10, 9-8) Sunday afternoon. In their February 4th meeting Ohio State earned a 61-58 win.You can watch the game on CBS or listen to it on TuneIn. Or both.