2012 Ohio State Basketball
Buckeyes Suffer Another Key Loss at Home
Up until a couple of weeks ago, the Ohio State Buckeyes had won 39 consecutive games in Columbus.
On Sunday, the 9th ranked Buckeyes dropped their second conference battle in their last three home games, falling to the 15th ranked Wisconsin Badgers 63-60 at Value City Arena.
It was yet another heartbreaker for Ohio State (23-6, 11-5), which along with its woes at home, has dropped three of its last five overall.
After Jared Sullinger put the Buckeyes ahead 59-58 with a bucket inside, Wisconsin big man Jared Berggren swished a shot from beyond-the-arc on the left wing. The Badgers were only 15 seconds into the shot clock, but the big man felt good about the shot.
Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan didn't have a problem with the shot selection, either.
"Best available shot," he said. "Ohio State's that good defensively that you don't pass up a whole lot of open shots against them."
After the Buckeyes called a timeout, Deshaun Thomas ended up with the ball at the top of the key. He went up for the shot but Ryan Evans, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Badgers, rushed at him and closed fast, throwing off his shot. After double pumping, Thomas' shot hit off the back of the iron, with Berggren grabbing the rebound.
Unlike Ryan, Buckeye head coach Thad Matta wasn't pleased with his player's shot selection.
"I didn't like that shot, obviously," Matta said. "Deshaun's man was sitting underneath the basket and Aaron (Craft) came off and set a great screen. (Deshaun) had a pretty good look."
Berggren was fouled and calmly hit both shots with 14.2 seconds left for a 63-59 lead.
Craft, who had 13 points for the Buckeyes, hit a late free throw to close the scoring.
Despite his poor shot selection towards the end, Thomas led the Buckeyes with 23 points to go along with seven rebounds.
William Buford, playing in his final home game, finished with 15 points. Sullinger, averaging 17.2 points a game, had 24 points and 10 rebounds in Ohio State's 58-52 win at Wisconsin, but was held to eight points and six rebounds on Sunday.
The Badgers were led by Jordan Taylor's 19 points and Berggren's 18 points.
It was a huge win for the Badgers (21-8, 10-6), who were discouraged after losing at Iowa on Thursday night. Furthermore, Wisconsin had not beaten a top-10 team on the road since topping No. 4 Ohio State 72-71 on Jan. 26, 1980.
Wisconsin will look to keep the momentum going on Tuesday as they welcome the Minnesota Golden Gophers into the Kohl Center.
Ohio State, on the other hand, will hope to bounce back on Wednesday as they travel to Northwestern to take on the upset-minded Wildcats.
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