COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s basketball team ended its three-game losing skid on Thursday, beating No. 16 Wisconsin 83-73.
With the victory, the Buckeyes move to 16-13 overall and 6-10 in Big Ten play. The Badgers, meanwhile, fall to 22-6 on the season with an 11-4 mark in conference play.
How it happened
After a sloppy loss to Nebraska on Saturday that saw Ohio State surrender a five-point lead with 30 seconds remaining in the game, the Buckeyes got off to a strong start against Wisconsin, jumping out to a 13-6 lead in the game’s opening five minutes.
The Badgers bounced back to keep Ohio State close in the ensuing few minutes, trimming the Buckeyes’ lead to 13-12 on a Nigel Hayes free throw at the 12:19 mark of the first half.
Ohio State, however, didn’t fold there, and what followed was arguably the best half of Buckeyes basketball in more than two years. Three-pointers from Andre Wesson, Micah Potter and C.J. Jackson created a 9-0 run over the course of less than two minutes, as Ohio State stretched its lead to as many as 15 points before taking a 44-31 advantage into halftime.
Even with center Trevor Thompson and forward Jae’Sean Tate dealing with foul trouble, the Buckeyes managed to keep the Badgers at an arm’s length throughout the second half, never allowing Wisconsin to within fewer than nine points of their lead.
A Jackson 3-pointer with 3:35 remaining in the game gave Ohio State a 72-55 advantage, which proved to be too much for the Badgers to overcome, as the Buckeyes’ lead blossomed to 20 by game’s end.
What it means for Ohio State basketball
Thursday’s win was a much-needed one for a Buckeyes team coming off three consecutive losses. It’s unlikely, however, that it will move Ohio State back to the bubble — or even close to it — with just over a week remaining in the regular season.
In order to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season, the Buckeyes still likely need a deep run into the Big Ten Tournament. But regardless of how the rest of Ohio State’s season plays out, Thursday’s win over a ranked opponent will serve as a high point of the Buckeyes’ 2016-17 campaign.
Tate had secured a double-double by halftime, tallying 13 points and 10 rebounds in the opening stanza and 15 points and 12 rebounds for the game. Jackson led OSU with 18 points on 4-of-4 shooting from 3-point range and JaQuan Lyle netted 17 points and 4 assists.
All eight of the Buckeyes’ who played vs. the Badgers scored on Thursday.
Due to foul trouble, Thompson scored just 3 points in 11 minutes of action.
Who was there
The No. 29 player in the 2019 class, Mitchell already holds scholarship offers from Iowa, Florida, Xavier and Ohio State.
The Buckeyes will return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 28 when they travel to State College to take on Penn State. The Nittany Lions lay claim to a 14-14 record, including a 6-9 mark in Big Ten play, heading into Saturday’s matchup against Minnesota.
Tuesday will mark the first and only time the Buckeyes and scheduled to face Penn State this season.