2023 Ohio State University
Luckily, a winless Week 10 did not completely carry over into Week 11 for Ohio State, as they snapped a five-game winless streak on Saturday against the Iowa Hawkeyes following two losses during the week to Rutgers in overtime and Nebraska following a missed three-point attempt with 10 seconds left on the clock. As they returned to Columbus following the two close road game losses, they found themselves their first win since New Year's Day, defeating the Hawkeyes by double digits thanks to a 56-point second half.
The long week got started out East in Piscataway, New Jersey, as they Buckeyes took on Rutgers and their hostile crowd in one of the best games of the year. Rutgers was hunting for redemption after controversy allowed the Buckeyes to win at home in their previous matchup this season. In the second battle of the year between the Scarlet foes, both teams struggled to shoot the ball, as each group was under 35% from the field. Bad shooting was the theme all the way into overtime and cost Ohio State the game. They produced just seven points in the late stages of the contest, with three of those points coming at the buzzer, as Brice Sensabaugh dropped in a three with the game sealed in Rutgers' favor.
Despite the team struggling as a whole to get the job done, Sensabaugh looked like he might be the next one-and-done at Ohio State. He dropped in 20 points on four of six shooting from three-point range and only missed three shots from inside the arc. He also snatched 11 rebounds, which was the highest mark of the game by any player.
Following the exhausting overtime game against Rutgers, the Buckeyes ran into a similarly struggling Nebraska Cornhuskers. Ohio State again would struggle to shoot the ball, finishing 35.7% from the field. Despite the poor shooting night, they found themselves within three points of the Cornhuskers at the buzzer. They had their chance to tie it late and send another game to overtime, but Sean McNeil's three-point attempt doinked off the rim, and Nebraska was able to run out the clock to come away with the win. For the second straight game of the week, it was Sensabaugh who led the way for the Scarlet and Gray, as the freshman had his second double-double in a row with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
There would be no denying the young Sensabaugh in game three of the week, as he dropped in 27 points against the Iowa Hawkeyes en route to a second half blowout. The two teams were separated by just two points going into the halftime break, but the Buckeyes would pull away thanks to a 56-point second half that led the Bucks to victory 93-77 over Iowa. Despite the big win and the snapping of a five-game winless streak, the Buckeyes did suffer a loss late in the game, as with 24 seconds left, Zed Key had a non-contact knee injury that has Buckeye fans everywhere holding their breath on the status of the veteran big man. Head coach Chris Holtmann announced in a postgame interview the injury to Key does not look like it will be a long-term injury, so a torn ligament is not likely.
Ohio State has already had to play without the services of Key this season, and the backup in Felix Okpara has shown he has the potential to lock down the center position in Big Ten play, as he had to battle against the tallest player in college in Purdue's Zach Edey and had a fine outing against him. With the recent struggles of the young team, having a veteran leader in the locker room is going to be important to keep morale high at this point in the season.
The Buckeyes will find themselves back on the road in each of their two games next week, as they travel to Champaign, Illinois to take on the Illini on ESPN this Tuesday (January 24th) at 7 p.m. in what is becoming a must win game for Ohio State if they want to capitalize off of the momentum of Saturday's win. They will make a pit stop on their way back to Columbus in Hoosier country to take on Indiana next Saturday for an 8 p.m. game on FOX.
2023 Ohio State University
The Women's basketball crew have kept up their historic season following their record breaking 17th straight win to open up the season last week that broke the school record. Their latest contribution to the record books is the most recent ranking in the AP polls, as they have climbed to No. 2 in the nation following USC's upset over Stanford. This is tied for the highest ranking in women's basketball history at Ohio State. It was an easy week for the ladies, as they had just one team on the schedule in the Northwestern Wildcats. The Wildcats came in with a winless record in conference play.
This was one of the best games the ladies have played this season, as they led by double digits after just the first quarter. From there, they kept the pedal down and never looked back, as they ran up the scoreboard en route to a 30-point win, totaling 84 points in their 19th win of the season. It was not a one-women show, as the Buckeyes featured four players in double digits, and three other players who ended up one-point shy. Through all of the great performances, it was Rebeka Mikulasikova's 18-point, seven-rebound night that stood out in the dominant victory.
The tune up game against Northwestern sets the Buckeyes up for their hardest week of the year, as they have a home game against No. 10 Iowa on Monday (January 23rd) at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and a road battle against No. 16 Indiana on Thursday (January 26th) at 8:30 p.m.