Another slow start doomed Ohio State on Sunday.
The Buckeyes trailed by as many as 18 early in the first half against Minnesota at Williams Arena, but their comeback once again fell short in a 78-68 loss to the Gophers.
With the loss, Ohio State falls to 10-6 on the season and is now 0-3 in the Big Ten. Minnesota is now 15-2 on the season and 3-1 in the Big Ten.
Ohio State trailed 62-59 at the game's final media timeout, and once again the Buckeyes couldn't get things done down the stretch. A 3-pointer by Akeem Springs with 2 minutes to play stretched the Gophers lead out to 69-60 and that proved to be the backbreaker for the Buckeyes.
Jae'Sean Tate led the way offensively for Ohio State, finishing with a team-high 20 points. The junior forward added 9 rebounds, as well. Additionally, Trevor Thompson recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 boards while JaQuan Lyle also reached double figures with 12 points.
Minnesota was led by Amir Coffey, who finished with a team-high 19 points. Springs added 18 and Reggie Lynch finished with 10 for the Gophers.
|26–64 (41%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||25–61 (41%)|
|5–14 (36%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||9–24 (38%)|
|11–21 (52%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||19–27 (70%)|
Once again, Ohio State fell behind early and had to attempt to dig itself out of a hole. The Buckeyes made just one field goal in the first eight minutes of the game and fell behind by as many as 18 before a late run trimmed Minnesota's lead. The Gophers led 39-28 at the break.
Tate led the way for Ohio State with eight first-half points while Thompson added seven points and five rebounds. Springs hit a trio of 3-pointers to lead all scorers with nine first-half points.
The Buckeyes had eight first-half turnovers — seven of which came during that poor start to the game — and made just 10-of-33 shots from the field in the first half. Ohio State was 2-for-8 from behind the 3-point line. Meanwhile, Minnesota connected on 15-of-33 first-half field goal attempts and hit 6-for-15 3-pointers. The Gophers also blocked seven shots in the first half.
Ohio State got within six at 33-27 late in the first half following a 3-pointer by Kam Williams. The triple capped an 8-0 run by the Buckeyes, but Minnesota quickly responded by scoring the final five points of the first half to take its 11-point lead into the locker room.
Things don't get any easier from here for Ohio State. The Buckeyes travel to Madison on Thursday to play 13th-ranked Wisconsin.