Ohio State's magical start to the 2019-20 season has finally hit a snag.
After opening Chris Holtmann's third year in Columbus with nine straight victories, including 25-point wins against No. 17 North Carolina and No. 20 Villanova, the Buckeyes now have a blemish on their schedule. They traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Sunday night for their first road Big Ten game of the season and fell, 84-71, to the Golden Gophers.
|#3 OHIO STATE||29||42||71|
Ohio State's record drops to 9-1, and Minnesota improves to 5-5. Had they beat the Gophers, the Buckeyes likely would have earned a No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press top-25 poll on Monday. Instead, they'll have one day off before returning to action on Tuesday in search of their first bounce-back win of the season.
In the first half of Sunday's game, Minnesota began to pull ahead, taking an 11-point lead with 1:10 remaining before halftime. With the Buckeyes unable to find consistent offense and a trotting out a defense that put together its worst performance of the season, the Gophers continued to add to their lead. In the second half, Ohio State spent less than two minutes with a deficit of fewer than 10 points.
Marcus Carr, a guard transfer from Pittsburgh, scored a game-high 35 points, hitting 12-of-17 shots. Big man Daniel Oturu scored 14 points for Minnesota, and Gabe Kalscheur dropped 15 points. Collectively, the Gophers hit 54.4 percent of their shots from the field, putting together the highest shooting percentage the Buckeyes have allowed this season.
|23-60 (38.3%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||31-57 (54.4%)|
|7-20 (35%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||7-19 (36.8%)|
|18-23 (78.3%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||15-20 (75%)|
Ohio State also shot a season-low 38.3 percent from the field. In the loss, DJ Carton set a career high with 19 points, hitting 6-of-12 shots. Kaleb Wesson finished second on the team with 12 points, going 4-for-13 from the field. He turned the ball over six times and picked up his fourth foul with 13:47 remaining. E.J. Liddell added 14 points, which is a new career high.
Minnesota's win continues the Big Ten's intra-conference road struggles. In all 13 games featuring two Big Ten teams, the home team has won.
The Buckeyes did not have their second-leading scorer, Duane Washington Jr., active for Sunday's game. He's dealing with a rib injury and is considered day to day.
Next up: Ohio State returns home to take on Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be televised on Big Ten Network.
- Without Washington active, Holtmann used the same starting five he trotted out for the season opener: CJ Walker, Luther Muhammad, Andre Wesson, Kyle Young and Kaleb Wesson.
- Former Buckeye Keita Bates-Diop was in attendance. He plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Ohio State got out-rebounded, 40-28.