2023 Ohio State University
The success the Buckeyes found in Week 11's victory over Iowa unfortunately did not carry with them into their road matchup against Illinois this week. As following the win against Iowa that broke a streak of five straight losses on the season, they found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard again, falling to the Fighting Illini 69-60. Despite Brice Sensabaugh's great play recently that has him hoisting up conference freshman of the week awards nearly every week, the Buckeyes have been unable to win games. His 14 points against Illinois on Tuesday was the team's highest, as Justice Sueing was the only other Buckeye who wound up with double-digit scoring.
Despite the Buckeyes having plenty of talent over the last few seasons, they continue to lack a true leader. Maybe that will become Sensabaugh as he gets a little bit older, but as the season has rolled on, it is becoming clear he will be a one-and-done player for Ohio State and will not have the time to grow into that roll. OSU needs someone who can go out there and control the middle of the game. Ohio State has guys that can open and that can close, but they have no one to carry them from one of those periods to the other. The moment they figure that part out is the moment Chris Holtmann will be taken off the hot seat by every fan in Buckeye Nation.
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear the Buckeyes will be making a miraculous turn around this season, as their second game of the week was more dreadful to watch than the first. The Buckeyes found themselves down by 16 points after the first half in their matchup against Indiana on the road Saturday night (January 28th). Yet again, it was a great start that fell apart with five minutes to go in the half, as they were within just one point of the lead before going on a scoring drought all the way up to the half. From there, Indiana held onto their lead and came away with a 86-70 win against the Bucks in Bloomington. Ohio State was led in scoring by Sensabaugh with 23 points.
The next week isn't looking overly promising for the Buckeyes, who find themselves in a downward spiral in the late stages of January. They have yet another nationally televised game on Thursday, as the Buckeyes will play host to 12-8 Wisconsin at 7 p.m. on FOX. The Buckeyes have been put on display for the nation to witness multiple times this season and have lost eight of their 12 nationally televised games.
2023 Ohio State University
The historic winning streak has finally come to an end for the Ohio State women's basketball team, as they dropped two straight Top 25 matchups this week to Iowa and Indiana. The Buckeyes have fallen to 19-2 after the letdown of a week and now have to battle back to get in the win column next week. They may have lost two big games this week, but many coaches preach the greatest teacher is defeat. Of the last 20 NCAA Division 1 National Champions, only five of them went undefeated and won. Adversity is a test every team must face at some point throughout the season. They have fought without their top player in Jacy Sheldon for nearly the entire year. They have to continue to push through without her and get back to the top.
Game one of the week was at home in front of about 10,000 fans inside of the Value City Arena, where they ran into the No. 10 Iowa and one of the nation's leading scorers in Caitlin Clark, who played all 40 minutes and collected a 33-point triple-double. Her performance was one of a few reasons the Buckeyes lost their first game of the season 83-72. To go along with her outstanding performance, the Buckeyes shot just 16% from beyond the arc and made just four threes on the night. They also shot just 70% from the free-throw line as a team and were outrebounded 51-31. This was without a doubt their worst performance on the season and hopefully not a precursor to what fans can expect to see in March.
Their second game saw an unfortunate carry over of the Iowa game. This time, they saw No. 6 Indiana on the road in their toughest game of the season. While none of the Hoosiers dropped a triple-double in this game, the Buckeyes still struggled to shoot the basketball while four Hoosiers had double-digit points and two of them had double-doubles. The Buckeyes made just three of their 15 three-point attempts on the night and shot under 60% from the free-throw stripe. They weren't outrebounded in this game, as both teams ended with 41, but their 13 turnovers ultimately found them on the wrong side of the scoreboard for the second time in the week after starting a perfect 19-0. The Hoosiers won 78-65.
Hopefully, they will find their way back into the win column against one of their two upcoming opponents. First, they will play host to 14-6 Purdue on Sunday (January 29th) at 1 p.m. Then, they travel to Wisconsin to take on the 7-14 Badgers on February 1st at 7:30 p.m.