A disastrous stretch somehow just got even worse.
Despite going 1-5 in its past six games, Ohio State entered Thursday as an 8.5-point favorite on Minnesota, aiming to even the season series at one win apiece. The Buckeyes led by 11 points early in the second half, but that lead dwindled and ultimately was lost with 7:52 remaining.
Ohio State couldn't close out the game and suffered a 62-59 loss in Thursday night's game at the Schottenstein Center when Marcus Carr hit a dagger of a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining to send Buckeyes fans toward the exits, Andre Wesson's full-court heave went out of bounds on the ensuing Ohio State possession and even after the Buckeyes got the ball back still down by just three, Duane Washington Jr.'s final shot from near midcourt came up short.
Having already dropped an 84-71 loss to Minnesota in December, Ohio State got swept in the two-game regular season series. Its record falls to 12-7 overall, 2-6 in the Big Ten and 1-6 in its last seven games.
Kyle Young powered Ohio State when the home team needed a late boost, scoring two layups and a dunk in the final three minutes as Minnesota also tried to rally. He couldn't do enough, though. The junior forward scored 14 points and added six rebounds.
|21-49 (42.9%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||23-54 (42.6%)|
|5-16 (31.3%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||7-21 (33.3%)|
|12-18 (66.7%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||9-17 (52.9%)|
After dropping 35 points in the December meeting between the two teams, Carr scored 21 points on Thursday.
Daniel Oturu, Minnesota's star center who averages 20.2 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, went scoreless in the first half. He made some high degree-of-difficulty shots in the latter 20 minutes, though, ending the game with 11 points and six rebounds in 38 minutes. Oturu made 4-of-12 shots.
With Kaleb Wesson bottled up for most of the game, scoring only two points, the Buckeyes rode their backcourt for much of their offense. Duane Washington Jr. dropped 12 points, and CJ Walker had 11 points.
The game tightened up in the second half when an 11-point Ohio State lead turned into just a one-point advantage with 14:15 remaining. A layup from Carr gave Minnesota its first lead of the second half with 7:52 remaining, setting up a tightly contested end of the game.
In what has become a common occurrence over the past month, Ohio State came out of the gates struggling to find many points, committing six turnovers in the opening 10 minutes. During that time, Minnesota grabbed a slight early lead. But while not turning the ball over at all over the next 10 minutes, the Buckeyes rallied back and entered halftime with a nine-point edge.
Twice, Ohio State had six-point runs in the first half. The second temporarily put the Buckeyes ahead by double figures when a pair of free throws from Luther Muhammad gave them a 10-point lead.
Next up: Ohio State heads back on the road to face Northwestern on Sunday. The game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. and will be shown on Big Ten Network.
- Kaleb Wesson got called for a flagrant one foul with 14:37 remaining with the second half when he dropped his head and ran into Daniel Oturu while completing a post move.
- After coming off the bench the last couple games, Luther Muhammad was reinserted into the starting lineup by Chris Holtmann, with DJ Carton heading to the bench. CJ Walker, Andre Wesson, Kyle Young and Kaleb Wesson rounded out the starting five.
- Ibrahima Diallo played in his first-ever Big Ten game, checking in with 8:18 remaining in the first half.
- Every returning member the 2019 Ohio State football team was in attendance and honored during halftime. Head coach Ryan Day mentioned the Fiesta Bowl, saying “That game did not sit well with us. And you have my word: we’re not going to forget about that game.”
- Former Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller sat in the front row behind one of the two baskets to watch Thursday's game. He spent some time talking to former Buckeye guard Michael Redd early in the second half.