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Ohio State Hoops Week 16 Recap: One Last Hurrah?

2023 Ohio State University

The most depressing regular season of the last 20 years for the Ohio State men's basketball program is just about over in Columbus, as the Buckeyes close in on their final week of play before the Big Ten tournament. This past week did no favors to a season that has gone from a downward spiral to an absolute disaster. Ohio State continued to lose games as their streak has increased to nine straight.

An expected loss started off the week, as the Buckeyes were on the road at No. 3 Purdue. All things considered, it could have gone much worse. They trailed by just nine points at the end of the first half, but then let the Boilermakers continue to grow their lead in the second half. Brice Sensabaugh led all scorers for the Buckeyes with 20 points as he looks to increase his draft stock at the end of the season. Despite the good offensive showing for him on the floor, team chemistry and morale seem to be at an all-time low. The Buckeyes lost 82-55.

Their return home after back-to-back road games was much better. However, the Bucks still ended the night with the loss despite playing a close game all the way to the end against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Ohio State led most stat categories by the end of the night, but they were outshot from the three-point line and that was their ultimate downfall as they lost 75-71. They were led in scoring again by Sensabaugh with 20 points, and Bruce Thornton was right behind him with 19 points.

There is just one final week left in the regular season for Ohio State as the nation's attention begins to shift to NCAA Tournament. Before the Buckeyes can set their sights on somehow trying to win the conference tournament to make the big dance known as March Madness, they must put this season out of its misery with three final games this coming week. Twice more they will be featured on national television, as their first game will be on CBS Sunday (February 26th) at noon as they take on the Fighting Illini at home. On Wednesday (March 1st), the Buckeyes will play their final home game of the season against the Maryland Terrapins at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network before closing out the season out on the road against the Michigan State Spartans Saturday (March 4th) at noon.

2023 Ohio State University

The historic regular season for the No. 16 Ohio State's women's basketball team has finally come to a close, but not before they left the nation with some fireworks down the final stretch of the season. Facing a seeming unwinnable final week of play against two teams that ranked inside of the Top 15 in the nation, the Buckeyes stepped up to the plate and delivered in a big way.

The first of two games was against the No. 12 ranked team from Ann Arbor. In the state up North, the Ohio State Buckeyes took off early and grabbed a seven-point lead after just the first quarter, but it would not be all sunshine and roses from that point forward, as the Wolverines fought back in the second quarter to make it 41-37 Buckeyes at the half. After a strong offensive start for both teams, defense became the point of emphasis in the third quarter, with both teams showing they can win with defense, as the Wolverines were held to just 11 points and the Buckeyes with just 14. The Wolverines offense never quite recovered in the fourth, and the Buckeyes were able to return to form to take home the season sweep over the rivals with a 74-61 victory.

Thanks to the momentum and confidence gained following the Top 25 victory on the road, the Buckeyes returned to Columbus prepared to take on the No. 7 Maryland Terrapins in the final contest of the season. Ohio State and Maryland went blow for blow in the first quarter, as the Buckeyes were in control by just one point going into the second quarter. The second quarter belonged to Maryland, outscoring Ohio State 23-17 to take the lead going into the half.

Coming out of the break, the Columbus crowd was fired up and the team took that energy to put up one of their best quarters of the season, dropping an outstanding 30 points to reclaim the lead with one quarter remaining. Once more, the two teams went shot for shot with one another in the final quarter in Columbus, but the Buckeyes came up just short in the final seconds of the night.

With 10 seconds left, Rikki Harris was sent to the free-throw line with the Buckeyes down by two points and had a chance to tie the game. Instead of potentially sending the game to overtime, she missed the first free throw and was forced to miss the second in hopes of an offensive rebound offering a second chance. That second chance was granted by Taylor Thierry, who pulled down the offensive board and kicked the ball out to Cotie McMahon, who missed her layup with seven seconds on the clock, but another offensive board kept the Buckeyes alive.

Thierry had the ball once more and attempted a floater from just in front of the elbow with under three seconds to go. Her shot missed, and McMahon tipped the ball up into the bucket. The Buckeyes thought they had sent the game to overtime thanks to McMahon's bucket, but after a second look it was deemed the tip-in occurred after the clock hit all zeros, and the Terrapins were the victors 76-74.

While I'm sure the Buckeyes would have liked a second chance to finish out the regular season with a win, they must turn their sights on what's to come, and that is the Big Ten Championship. Ohio State already has their spot in the NCAA Tournament, as they will be the No. 3 seed in the Seattle Regional 4 side of the bracket, but a light stutter down the stretch cost them a chance at the regular season conference crown, and now they must fight back to the top of the conference in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament.

While seeding has not been finalized, they are currently the fourth seed in the conference, with 10 teams yet to play their final game. With the fourth seed, Ohio State would not play until March 3rd at around 3 p.m. on the Big Ten Network and their opponent will either be the No. 13, No. 12 or No. 5 seed. Current seeding would have TTUN as the No. 5 team, Penn State as the No. 12 team and Minnesota as the No. 13 team.


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