In a game they simply had to have, the Buckeyes allowed 47 second half points en route to a ugly 71-57 loss to Minnesota. The defeat was the fourth straight and sixth in eight games.
Minnesota got 20 second half points from Lawrence McKenzie and used a 13-3 run to turn a 36-34 lead into a 49-37 cushion with 10:56 to play before hitting 12 of 13 free throws in the final eight minutes dropping Ohio State to 8-8 in conference play.
Kosta Koufos (17) and Jamar Butler (13) were the only Buckeyes to reach double figures though Butler was just 4/13 from the floor. Koufos added 5 rebounds and provided a laugh when the 7 footer stuffed himself on the rim attempting a dunk.
Evan Turner wore a wrist wrap to start the game but removed it early in the half. Unfortunately, the change didn't help his shooting (1/8) although he grabbed a team high 7 rebounds.
As usual, it looked like the Buckeyes would make a game of it in the early going responding to an ass chewing by Matta after Minnesota took a 2-0 lead. After the verbal beatdown, Butler and David Lighty triggered a 7-1 run to take a 7-3 lead.
Later in the half, Koufos scored 8 straight points to give OSU a one point lead (22-21) with 1:25 remaining but Minnesota converted three free throws to take a 24-23 lead into the locker room.
Ohio State held the Gophers to 7/23 from the floor (30%) in the opening stanza but the Gophers caught fire in the second hitting 14 of 25 shots (56%) including 5/11 from downtown in addition to knocking down 22/25 free throws (88%) on the afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes shot just 40% from the floor and 12/18 from the stripe and were outrebounded 31-23. Since the Buckeyes have apparently mailed it in, I feel obligated to do the same so pardon the lack of depth.
NCAA bubble? More like NIT bubble.