2022 Ohio State University
Ohio State men's basketball played one and won one this week at Value City Arena when the Buckeyes Tanner Holden launched the game winning shot at the buzzer to send the team out with a 67-66 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, but the shot did not come without controversy.
The controversy came when it was believed Bruce Thorton had stepped out of bounds while riding the sideline prior to his pass to Holden, and it was believed Holden was out of bounds before receiving the pass and had not re-established himself before touching the basketball. The Big Ten ruled the next day the shot should not have counted ,as Thorton did step out of bounds. However, they can't go back and change the outcome of the game, so Ohio State gets credit for their first Big Ten victory of the season.
Win or lose, there was an important takeaway for the young Bucks this week in their conference opener: They went the distance, and they played physical against a team that was expected to finish in the middle of the Big Ten standings. Ohio state shot an impressive 42% from three-point range in the game Thursday night and outrebounded Rutgers 35-27. They were even with turnovers and had scoring contributions from all eight players who were put in the game.
Zed Key took home Player of the Game, as he dropped in nearly a third of the teams total points with 22 while also pulling down 14 rebounds. He has started to flourish into the teams' top player this season. The "Bruce Boys" of Brice Sensabaugh and Thorton have begun to develop into OSU's key weapons, as they were the next two highest scorers, combining for 23 of the teams' points on four combined threes.
OSU men's basketball heads back onto the road back into the ACC to take on the once great UNC Tarheels on December 17th. UNC was the preseason No. 1 team in the nation but have gone on a four-game losing streak since starting the season 5-0, but those losses have come to No. 20 Iowa State, No. 8 Alabama, No. 14 Indiana and 9-1 Virginia Tech. This will be no small task for the very inexperienced crew in Columbus that lost to the ACC's second best team in Duke at the end of November 81-72.
2022 Ohio State University
Meanwhile, the ladies of Ohio State have maintained perfection through the opening week of December. They are now 9-0 and have beaten every opponent by 12 points or more this season. They are coming off of a week in which they picked up two big time wins to move up to No. 3 in the AP Poll, which is their highest ranking since 2010.
The first of which came in a tough road game to open Big Ten Conference play against Rutgers. It was the closest any team has came to beating the Buckeyes this year, but with Ohio State's defense forcing 21 turnovers despite not having Jacy Sheldon, the hill was too hard to climb for the Scarlet Knights, and the Buckeyes came out with a 82-70 victory. They were led in scoring once again by Rebeka Mikulasikova, who finished with 31 points. She has become one of the most consistent weapons for Ohio State this season and is increasing her WNBA draft stock by the minute. No. 2 on the team in scoring was Ohio's own Taylor Mikesell out of Massillon, who dropped in 30 points of her own, including dropping six three's on her way to earning Player of the Game.
Game two was much easier as it was against the now 4-7 New Hampshire Wildcats. This was a one sided beatdown in which the Buckeyes defended Value City Arena with a 93-36 victory. Some new faces got to shine in the lopsided game, as Cotie McMahon led the team in scoring with 20 points, and Taylor Thierry finished with 14 of her own. McMahon would also grab five steals in the victory, earning Player of the Game, but Mikesell did send in another great performance, as she added on four more three's to her total this week, bringing her to 10 in all. She would finish with 19 total points.
Sheldon is currently out with a leg injury and is listed as day-to-day. Despite winning without her, she is one of the top defensive players in the nation, and she can score as well.
Ohio State's next game is at 4 p.m. against 6-4 Michigan State, who have gone on a four-game losing skid, on December 11th on BTN. They will also be in action December 16th against the 5-5 Albany Great Danes at 6 p.m.