The hole keeps getting deeper for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State’s losing streak has now stretched to five straight games following a 63-60 Wednesday loss on the road at Nebraska, which was the second-to-last-place team in the Big Ten entering the night. The loss comes just six days after the Buckeyes fell to last-place Minnesota at home, and Ohio State has now tied its longest skid in the Chris Holtmann era.
Points were hard to come by in an opening half that saw both teams shoot 30% or under. After playing from behind for most of the period, the Buckeyes put together a quick spurt in the final minutes of the half to steal a lead before the intermission.
It didn’t stick, though, as frequent Ohio State turnovers and Nebraska’s pronounced advantage in interior scoring helped the Huskers take control late in the second half. The Buckeyes only trailed by two points with 10 seconds left, and still had a chance to send the game to overtime with a final shot.
With Brice Sensabaugh having already fouled out, Sean McNeil’s game-tying attempt rimmed out at the buzzer.
The offensive struggles that plagued the Buckeyes in the past few games followed them into this one. Ohio State hit just one of its first 11 shots from the floor, although the Huskers only hit two of their opening 10 on the other end.
But Nebraska had the edge early, holding a lead from 18:06 to 1:47 as the Buckeyes continued to struggle. Sensabaugh and Justice Sueing combined to miss their first 11 shots from the floor while the Huskers managed to be slightly more efficient on offense.
|20-56 (35.7%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||23-56 (41.1%)|
|5-17 (29.4%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||6-21 (28.6%)|
|15-23 (83.3%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||11-17 (74.1%)|
Despite Ohio State’s offensive ineptitude, Nebraska’s own struggles left the door open for the Buckeyes to take a one-point lead on the back of a 7-0 run with less than two minutes to go in the half. The Buckeyes held that 22-21 advantage as the buzzer sounded, heading into the locker room with a lead despite trailing for 16:20 of the period.
Ohio State shot just 26.7% from the field and 14.3% from the 3-point line, but seven Nebraska turnovers and a 3:12 scoring drought to end the half helped the Buckeyes get back out in front. The Huskers hit just 30% of their first-half shots and missed three of their four free-throw attempts.
Ohio State scored 10 of the first 16 points of the second half to earn some breathing room with a five-point lead at the 16:10 mark. But the Huskers responded with back-to-back 3-pointers in the following 58 seconds to retake the lead into the under-16-minute media timeout.
Zed Key scored five straight points from 14:22 to 12:45 to take Ohio State from down three to up two, and the Buckeyes had another chance to take a two-possession lead after Husker head coach Fred Hoiberg was whistled for a technical foul. But McNeil, who hadn’t missed a free throw all season entering the game, missed both attempts.
Both teams traded buckets and leads thereafter as each side heated up considerably from their first-half pace on offense. Sensabaugh scored seven straight points for Ohio State in a two-minute span to give the Buckeyes a two-point edge at 8:55, but Nebraska had an answer as it fired back with an 8-0 run to take a 55-49 lead. Three Ohio State turnovers in less than four minutes contributed to the Husker spurt.
By the 3:41 mark, Ohio State hadn’t hit a shot in well over five minutes of game time as Nebraska held onto a two-possession lead.
The Buckeyes cut it to a three-point game with 2:20 to play, and Ohio State was within two points of the Huskers with 1:48 left on the clock. Ohio State still had a chance in the final 40 seconds as Sensabaugh knocked down a 3-pointer to make it a three-point deficit late.
Ohio State had a final chance to tie the game up in the waning moments, but McNeil’s 3-pointer was off the mark.
- After coming off the bench on Sunday, both Brice Sensabaugh and Zed Key returned to the starting lineup against Nebraska. Bruce Thornton, Sean McNeil and Justice Sueing were the other three starters for the Buckeyes.
- Ohio State dropped its lone meeting with the Cornhuskers last season, a 78-70 upset loss at the Schottenstein Center with the Buckeyes holding the No. 23 ranking in the AP poll.
- Before last year’s loss, Ohio State had won six straight games against Nebraska and 10 of the previous 11 matchups.
- Fred Hoiberg lost four of his first five matchups against Ohio State since taking over as Nebraska’s head coach in 2019-20.
- Starting Nebraska forward Juwan Gary (shoulder) did not suit up for the Huskers.