Men's Basketball

Slow Start Dooms Buckeyes to 78-68 Loss in Madison

No. 16 Ohio State (10-4, 4-2 B1G) missed their first 11 shots from three point range, the first eight of those coming in the first half, and dug themselves a hole they couldn’t dig their way out of even when some shots did finally start falling.

No. 13 Wisconsin (14-2 5-1 B1G) took advantage of OSU’s frigid shooting to take at 13 point lead at the half by a score of 40-27.

The Badgers continued to dominate play in the early going of the second half  and built 17 point lead at 52-35. Then the seemingly impossible happened when OSU forward E.J. Liddell finally hit a three, OSU’s first of the game, to cut the lead to 14.

From that point on the Buckeyes were at least competitive and actually cut into the Badger lead.  Liddell’s three triggered a 12-4 OSU run that cut Wisconsin’s lead to just 7 at 56-49 when Wisconsin called a time out to stop the bleeding with 8:42 left in the game.

The next four minutes were virtually even and found the Badgers leading by six at 61-55 after a dunk by Zed Key.  It looked like the Badgers might be feeling the pressure, but if they were, they were up to it. They went on a 13-2 run to re-establish a 17 point lead at 64-57 with just 3:18 left to play.

Ohio State actually mounted a comeback of their own in the late stages of the game.  The Buckeyes went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to just six with 55 seconds remaining on the game clock, but that was as close as they could get.  Wisconsin scored the last four points of the game to secure the ten point win.

Liddell scored just three points in the first half but led OSU in scoring with 18 by the time the game ended.  Jamari Wheeler added 11, and Malaki Branham, Kyle Young and Zed Key all had 10.

Wisconsin guard Brad Davidson led all scorers with 25 points. Forward Tyler Wahl wasn’t far behind with 20. Guard Jonathan Davis added 14.

Photo courtesy OhioStateBuckeyes.com

One Response

  1. Anytime they face a defense that is “aggressively smothering,” they struggle. Also, Ahrens still is not “screening and popping” in order to be open for 3’s which is limiting his greatest asset to the team.

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