Bucks Notch First Win at Kohl Since 2000

By Chris Lauderback on February 4, 2012 at 4:02p
Getty / J. DanielSully became the 48th member of OSU's 1,000 point club

Thad Matta picked up his first win at Wisconsin as the Buckeyes (20-3) rode a 24/10 dub-dub from Jared Sullinger and a strong team defensive effort to turn back the Badgers 58-52 this afternoon in the Kohl Center. 

The win gives OSU a national best five wins against the Top 25 (5-2), stops a nine game losing streak in Madison and keeps the Buckeyes in sole possession of first place in conference with an 8-2 mark. 

Deshaun Thomas was Sully's main sidekick adding 16 points (8/15) and six boards and while William Buford was mostly Bad Buford today shooting 4/15, he was solid in the final minutes and finished with 11 points, six boards and three turnovers. 

In your typical OSU at Wisconsin slow paced slugfest, the Buckeyes played 32 minutes before someone other than the big three scored a point as Lenzelle Smith Jr. converted a strong drive down the lane for an and-1 and a 45-38 Buckeye lead with 8:14 left in regulation. 

Just as it appeared Matta's troops were in total control, the defense flagged allowing the Badgers to score on five straight possessions after a Mike Bruesewitz triple capped a 12-6 spurt cutting the lead to 51-50 with 3:39 to play. 

Unfazed, Buford capitalized on a Sully steal burying a triple from the right wing to put OSU in front by four at 54-50. The defense then went back to work forcing back to back empty possessions before Aaron Craft hit two free throws pushing the lead to 56-50 with :58 remaining. Jordan Taylor responded with a layup to make it 56-52 but forced to foul, the Badgers put Buford on the line and he prompty buried a pair to make it 58-52 good guys with :34 on the clock. 

The defense, not quite done demoralizing the Badgers, forced two missed shots in between Smith forcing Ben Brust to travel with :12 left meaning the Scarlet and Gray held Wisky to two points on 1/4 shooting with three turnovers over the final 3:39 to seal the deal. That's how you win on the road in the B1G. 

The Buckeyes held Wisconsin to 40% from the field and totally shut down the three point game holding the Badgers to 5/27 (19%) while winning the glass 30-25. 

Taking advantage of Bo Ryan's decision to play Sully straight up, the big man blew up scoring Ohio State's first nine points and 16 in the first half on 6/8 shooting via an assortment of power moves in the paint and a feathery turnaround fadeaway jumper. 

Wisconsin used an 8-0 run to take an 18-15 lead at the 7:34 mark of the first half but OSU closed on a 13-6 run to take a 28-24 lead at intermission. Only four Buckeyes took shots in the opening 20 minutes and only three scored with Thomas recording eight points and Buford four. Craft was non-existent offensively going 0/2 from the floor with two turnover and two fouls though he helped hold the regressed Taylor to five points. 

Ryan Evans picked up Taylor's slack scoring 10 first half points as neither Thomas or Evan Ravenel could handle his quicks. Evans was the only Badger to make noise however as OSU held them to 2/14 from beyond the arc en route to the four point halftime lead. 

For the game, Ohio State didn't exactly light it up shooting 43% overall including just 14% from distance (1/7) though the one make was Buford's big shot. 

Behind Sully's 8/10, the Buckeyes shot 13/16 from the stripe, outscoring the Badgers (3/3) by 10. 

Sullinger's clutch performance helped him become the 48th Buckeye to record 1,000 career points. 

Overall, the Buckeyes have to feel good about stopping the skid in Kohl and improving to 4-3 on the road. 

Evans led four Badgers in double figures with 14 points with Bruesewitz adding 11 points and 11 boards. 

The Buckeyes welcome Purdue to the Schott at 9pm on Tuesday night ahead of the Saturday showdown with Sparty. 



Comments Show All Comments

JakeBuckeye's picture

Now this was a "B1G" win! We are playing in stride.

VestedInterest's picture

Indeed. A huge win at the Kohl, the first in over a decade

*waits for the overly critical dismantling of the win*

Poison nuts's picture

Look down.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

BuckeyeJim's picture

Matta needs to play the best five and does not include Buford at this point. WB should be the 6th or 7th man off the bench.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Disagree. If we did that, I feel like we would completely lose him. I'd have to imagine he would go off the deep end if we benched him, being the only senior and an all-Big Ten talent type performer. We need to make sure he knows he has our full confidence (even if he doesn't) so he can hit his peak in March.

Matt's picture

Agreed, and WB's play killed me today.  Ultimately our Final Four chances hinge on Sully, Tank, and WB playing elite basketball at the same time.  Craft is never going to be a solid scoring option outside of penetration lay ups, and the rest of the athletic wings we have (with the exception of perhaps Q-Ross) are one-dimensional, above-the-rim slashers.  We are going to have to live and die with WB, for better or worse.

baddogmaine's picture

Unfortunately that probably is true. But it doesn't mean that WB has to be given the green light to keep shooting. Granted, his 3 when our lead was cut to 51-50 was the biggest shot of the game, but no one watching, including Matta, could have had confidence that it was going in, other than general confidence based more on past years than recent performance.WBs shooting is to too high a degree turnovers, and when game planning for a team better than Whiskey it is fair to ask if his turnovers (actual and for-all-purposes) are outweighed by his 15 points. My feeling is no, especially when only two other Buckeyes can score reliably at all (Matta showed us what he thinks of our bench, and our bench showed us why he feels that way). In an uptempo game lost possessions turn into opponent points. And a team with only two reliable scorers becomes easy to defend by a team that matches up physically.

I also have to say that while our interior defense was sound our perimeter defense had little to do with the Badger's poor three-point shooting. They were missing a lot of open looks, by guys they count on to hit them. That too is an issue against a team that can hit if given a chance. What does it say that Brandon Paul's best game of his life was against us?

A win on the road is always a good thing. Beating Wisconsin in Madison is a good thing. But this was the third home loss in B1G play for Bucky, they're not as good as they have been, and the story in the story is that what we did today probably isn't good enough to beat teams much better than we faced today. And other than Buford snapping out of his slump or Matta making us play slower it's not clear what we can do better than we are.

BuckeyeJim's picture

WB was 2 of 16 against KY last year. Even a blind chicken will get some corn. There are some players who excel when they come off the bench. Some things should be changed up. I believe if we had given a freshman more playing time, he would be playing better than Buford is now. I hope WB makes a drastic change for the better.

Poison nuts's picture


"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

VestedInterest's picture

WB clock managed nicely in the last 2 pulling out and running clock and hit the games only 3 for the Bucks at a critical moment.

Breakawayspeed's picture

Our D was stellar today.  They kept the pressure going from beginning to end!  How they refrained from blowing the lead at the end with the obvious help from Hightower, is commendable.  

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Breakawayspeed: if the next week or so works out in the Buckeyes' favor, you might need to change your screen name to SDiggs.

Breakawayspeed's picture

I would be happy to do so!

cesmit's picture

Helluva job by Craft shutting down Taylor. Those damn espn announcers dearly wanted a repeat of last year, but our guys weren't gonna let that happen today. The fouls they called on Craft were just little pitty-pat calls that shouldn't have been called. He didn't have the pretty numbers that Sully did, but it was a great performance. Great game by the whole team.

Ian_InsideTheShoe's picture

Huge win, but I couldn't help but think that I was watching a replay of last year at Wisconsin once it got under 3 minutes, when we started to pull away. That's when the replay really hit, and Jordan Taylor got hot, as well as Wisconsin hitting a huge 3 to cut the Buckeyes lead to 1. This year, thankfully, was different and Sullinger really stepped up.

Great overall effort from the team though, huge win.

Colin's picture

I think an important thing to take away from this game is that we finally got a good road win, we haven't had one yet this season.

slippy's picture

I wouldn't say we totally shut down their 3 point game.  They had wide open looks all day but just couldn't hit them.

madhatterhater's picture

In the first half they had a lot open threes but they were pretty deep.

go bucks

Neilwoodgables's picture

WB still is a good match-up on the perimeter.  He hit a HUGE 3 late in the game. He isnt sitting down.

To say that it is the right thing to do id ludicrous.


I Hate Michigan.



Kalamazoo Steve's picture

WB doesn't need to play every second of every game. I have bitched about Matta pulling guys after they made a huge play, just because that was the plan going in. Ditch that plan and sub for the cold guy, not the guy who just did his job.

gravey's picture

Thought we might get Hightowered there.  Couple of weird calls....worried they'd go all "Assembly Hall" on us.  Luckily Badgers hardly ever drive.


NoVA Buckeye's picture

correct me if i'm wrong, but wiscy didnt shoot a FT all game

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

VestedInterest's picture

Taylor shot 2 late I know for sure

Seth4Bucks's picture

Wrong, but almost right. I think Jordan had 3 FTs late in the 2nd half. Still we had a huge advantage all game at the stripe.

VestedInterest's picture

Checked the box, he did have another one but that was it 3-3. Bucks hit the line 16 times w/Sully sucking up 10 of them.

whalewars's picture

Bo Ryan and Bielema have to be two of the biggest whiners in all of the B1G!


whalewars's picture

Wow, what a game! The crew and I watched from the Chaos room aboard the Steve Irwin. Now, we will all adhere to our biweekly personal hygeine upkeep lessons that we learned from Brady the Hoke. 

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I wonder if fat baby Bret was watching!!! Probably really pissed him off.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

DefendYoungstown's picture

Finally playing to their potential

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

LadyBuck's picture

 So, I'm just watching the game for the first time, since I had things to do earlier today. That first foul on Craft was absolute BS. What a crappy call. He got Hightower'd.


Edit: As I'm watching this, I feel like there are so many cheap fouls called on us, but really huge ones are the only way that Wisconsin gets calls agains them. Ugh!

This is a painful game to watch. So much pain.

And now PTSD is settting in with that ginger 3...

Ed Hightower is the REAL Academy Award winner. Geesh, dude. You're a ref, not an actor.

As I watched this game, I could really see the football player in Craft at times. *cough*final pass to DT and that hard fall sometime in the 2nd half*cough*

Loved the defensive intensity we had for the whole game, but we need to do better with those screens. We were lucky that Bucky wasn't shooting well from 3 point land, because we gave them those shots. As for everything else, it was a great win.

Also, this is the first close, down-to-the-wire we have this year. I will take it, and I hope the guys learn from it.

WC Buckeye's picture

I always bitch about E.H. and T.V. (and used to about T.H., too) for the awful homerism they seem to display when OSU plays on the road, and the sheer lack of it when they call our home games. Shouldn't we expect home cooking, too? Don't the announcers always point out the homecourt officiating advantage that the B1G teams enjoy? I have witnessed the non-calls, the touch fouls, and the absolute HUH? calls (a la yesterday's total misses on an out-of-bounds call and the blocking foul on Sully) for so many years I'm embarassed to admit it. So I always cringe whenever I see that one of these guys, or more recently when this guy Wymer, is going to be calling a game, home or away. I just KNOW it's going to be closer than it should.

So, as I also recognize that I am a diehard, lifelong Buckeye who maybe not only has a bias toward our teams but also a desire to be fair-minded, I decided to take a step back yesterday and really try to be objective about what I was seeing. Having officiated myself for a few years (not collegiate, just rec and high school games moons ago), I know that sight lines, speed, motion, and lots of other factors come into play in an official's decision to make a call or not. Overall, I thought yesterday's first half was pretty well-officiated.

Here's what finally dawned on me in the second half, though, after all these years of watching these guys call our games and trip on their dicks. It was really subtle yesterday, but in reflecting on all the games I've seen them do where I was just stunned by the outcome at the end, it hit me like a load of bricks. It isn't just the questionable nature of the calls (or missed calls), it's also the WHO and the WHEN of them. Sully goes the ENTIRE FIRST HALF without a foul and then picks up three thisquick - two very questionable ones at that - when it seems like OSU could be pulling away? It happened to Craft at right about the same time, although he'd already picked up another cheapie or two earlier in the game. Bang - from up nine (I think) to back to even or down one.

Now here's the thing: looking back to the Indiana loss, the same thing happened, but it was in the first half and it was Craft, Buford AND Sully that got handcuffed to the bench all of a sudden. Bang - from up fifteen to back to even. In the Illinois loss, it happened again, only with Craft and Sully in the second half. Of course, Brandon Paul's performance was an outlier, but if I recall correctly he wasn't getting a good matchup from us when he really went off, and when you're getting good looks...

Ultimately, the kids have to play smart, aggressive basketball, take care of the ball, and not get rattled BY ANYTHING - the home crowd, the chippiness, the officiating - to continue to win. I get it. Sometimes, though, despite best efforts, the other team will just go nuts and win, a la our curb-stomp of Duke, who we still have to rate as a pretty solid club. That's just the nature of sports. When I see, though, that a really good team does just about all the fundamentals well and still has a game like yesterday's that goes down to the wire when it really shouldn't have, I have to start to wonder why. If Buford was playing up to his talent, that game was a snoozer by halftime; God, I sincerely hope you give this man his shot back.

I will try to remain passive and impartial when I watch the rest of the B1G games through the end of the season, but I encourage everyone to look at what happens in our road games if any of the three of these guys are calling them and it looks like we might be pulling away: who has the hot hand for us (can be either offense or defense) and who makes the call (or not) on them.

Or maybe it's just me.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good comments. I feel much the same way as you do.

As we've all discussed many times, Ohio State is one of the most hated athletic programs in the nation. It's unnecessary (and highly unlikely) for B1G refs to deliberately sabotage the Buckeyes; but their subconscious antipathies toward Ohio State might at times skew their reactions/decisions plenty enough on their own. If I'm officiating a Florida Gators football game, no matter how hard I tried to be impartial, my hatred of the Gators would probably veer up occasionally.

Fortunately, the shenanigans in the B1G might only toughen the team in advance of March, which is all that really matters. The NCAA tourney refs have bright spotlights on them, are usually the best refs, and have strong incentives to perform at a higher level. Officiating is not typically so one-sided in the NCAA tourney and that includes when B1G refs are officiating games not involving B1G teams.

Now, there are exceptions. In the 1999 NCAA F4 game against UCONN, the refs let the Huskies play very physical and hand-check all over the court, which didn't suit that Buckeye team. Last year against Kentucky, the refs seem to let that turd Calipari get into their heads in the 1H and came out trying to "even things up" in the 2H, which was pure b.s.

By and large, though, Ohio State will get a better shake in the NCAA tourney.   

timdogdad's picture

does the espn brass(actually tarnished brass) tell the tv announcers to keep it negative towards ohio state?-seemed like they were hoping for a repeat from last year.  does espn need to do that in b-ball too?  could the big ten fans brag how good our league is in b-ball like the sec in football? should we chant big ten! big ten! at the ncaa tourney this year?     nah, we're too modest and educated.   one more tidbit-i love how espn can't touch the championship game, etc in the major sprots-super bowl, world series, nba finals.  probably drives them crazy and they have to beat up on the big ten network.    

LouGroza's picture

The timing of the calls seem to be of most importance. Yesterdays calls had the making of the second win for the referees over the Bucks. With the first of course being Indiana.

baddogmaine's picture

That's become the story of the game. The reality is that IN got whistled only twice less than us - 20 to our 22. Craft played 38 minutes and got called only twice, Smith played 30 minutes and got only one foul. The only player who fouled out was Indiana's center who did it in 21 minutes, and a key IN sub, a senior with a lot of experience, picked up 4 fouls in 9 minutes. The refereeing was bad but it was bad both ways, and several of our players did not adjust. And the refs had nothing to do with us making 17 turnovers.The refs had nothing to do with Sibert taking three 3s in his seven minutes of game time (that's almost 18 in a full game!!) and missing them all, the team as a whole going 3 of 11 on threes.  The fact is we got outplayed and got beaten by the Hoosiers, not by the refs.

TLB's picture

I still can't believe they tried to play Sully straight up.  I wish everyone would do that.

buckeyechad's picture

Anyone watching the msu michigan game? Draymond Green vs. Sully should be very fun to watch.