2023 Ohio State University
It was not a good week in Columbus for fans of Ohio State men's basketball, as the Buckeyes dropped back-to-back games following their close battle against Purdue that left so many OSU fans hopeful for the young squad. The Buckeyes came into the week ranked at No. 24 in the polls but two losses to bottom five teams in the Big Ten will surely drop them from that high ranking.
Their first game was against the Maryland Terrapins, who used home court advantage to pull off the upset. They needed a second half comeback, as the Buckeyes led by six points at the break. The Terps comeback was helped along by an undisciplined performance by Ohio State, as the team committed foul after foul and gave Maryland 33 free throw attempts. The Buckeyes put in a valiant effort in the late stages to try and take the game but a couple of missed opportunities saw Maryland win in College Park 80-73.
Despite the loss, Brice Sensabaugh showed up big for the Scarlet and Gray. The rising star of Ohio State dropped in 22 points and pulled down seven rebounds, taking home Player of the Game honors for Ohio State.
The loss to The Terps would not be the worst loss of the past week for the Buckeyes. On Thursday, the Buckeyes went against the only team in the Big Ten with a losing record in Minnesota and put together one of their worst shooting performances of the season, falling to the Golden Gophers 70-67 in Columbus. Ohio State shot just over 50% from the free-throw line and just 31.8% from 3-point range after shooting over 40% against Maryland. There was controversy late in the game, as a late block was called a shooting foul on OSU's Bruce Thornton with 1.7 seconds remaining on the clock with the score knotted up at 67 apiece.
The Big Ten once again this season came out postgame and said that the foul was an error and should not have been called. The free throws were made by the Golden Gophers, and the Buckeyes worst performance of the season ended in a loss at home.
While some blame to the loss can be attributed to the bad call late in the game, Ohio State arguarbly should never have been in that situation in the first place. Chris Holtmann has taken the brunt of criticism this season for his late game play calling, but this most recent game showed there are many holes throughout this team and his gameplan.
Big changes are going to be needed quickly for the Buckeyes, as they have now lost three straight games and have the No. 3 team in the conference in 12-5 Rutgers next up on the schedule in a road game on January 15th at 2:15 p.m. on the Big Ten Network (BTN). Following the tough game in Rutgers, the Buckeyes take on the 9-9 Nebraska Cornhuskers once more on the road January 18th at 7 p.m. on BTN. The men's team will then play host to the 11-6 Iowa Hawkeyes January 21st at a time to be determined on FOX.
The Buckeyes have a tough week ahead of them, and a promising start to the year could easily be flushed away if their losing woes continue in 2023.
2023 Ohio State University
The women of Ohio State have been the definition of perfection through the first nine weeks of the season and Week 10 saw no change in their high level performances. They have now amassed 18-straight wins to begin the season, which is the most wins to start a season in school history.
Ohio State's first game of the week came all the way back on Sunday, as they played host to the Illinois Fighting Illini, who gave the Buckeyes everything they could handle in the afternoon contest. The 14-2 Illini took a 10-point lead into the halftime break after matching the Buckeyes point for point in the first quarter and shutting down the Buckeye offense in the second quarter. The third quarter proved vital for the undefeated Buckeyes, as a 28-point quarter tied the game up with just one quarter to go. The Buckeyes took home the victory following a defensive battle in the fourth quarter. Cotie McMahon used a 22-point performance to take home Player of the Game in the 87-81 victory over the Illini.
Saturday afternoon, the Buckeyes traveled west to take on the 11-7 Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Buckeyes jumped out to an early lead and were able to hang on all the way through thanks to Rebeka Mikulasikova returning to form after a nine-game scoring slump. Mikulasikova totaled 25 points in the nine-point win against the Huskers and drilled three triples on the night to go along with seven rebounds and two steals. This was one of the few games this season in which Ohio State wasn't able to force more than 15 turnovers, yet they played great defense and shot over 50 percent from the field and 3-point range. Their total team performance was good enough to get the 76-67 win over Nebraska.
This was a great shooting night for Ohio State, but it has also gone down as one of the worst rebounding nights of the season. The Buckeyes allowed Nebraska to dominate the offensive glass, and the Cornhuskers were rewarded with 21 offensive rebounds compared to just 10 for Ohio State. These rebounds kept a Nebraska team that shot just under 37% from the field to stay close to the No. 3 team in the nation. If Ohio State is going to live up to their ranking in March, they are going to have to improve at boxing out and putting down lesser opponents in the first half.
The Buckeyes will have just one game next week as they return home for what should be an easy game against the 6-11 Northwestern Wildcats on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on BTN. Ohio State took on Northwestern at the end of December and came away with a massive 81-48 victory over the Big Ten's last ranked team.