Duane Washington Jr. needed less than three minutes to set the tone on Thursday evening.
The sophomore guard pulled up from behind the 3-point line for all of Ohio State's first three shots and sank each of them, giving the Buckeyes a quick 9-4 lead. Making nine of their first 11 shots, they jumped out to a 26-12 advantage before the midpoint of the first half and never looked back, cruising to a 75-54 win in Lincoln, Nebraska.
|#23 OHIO STATE||43||32||75|
With the victory, Ohio State improved its overall record to 19-9 and rose to 9-8 in the Big Ten, crossing the .500 threshold for the first time since it was 1-0 in conference play in December.
The Buckeyes, despite going on a streak of 11 missed shots midway through the first half, made just about everything look easy in Thursday's victory. Their lead stretched to 21 points on a made 3-pointer from Washington with 2:59 remaining in the first half. The remainder of the game, Nebraska never cut Ohio State's lead to below 14 points.
Three Buckeyes scored in double figures.
|25-62 (40.3%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||21-59 (35.6%)|
|6-25 (24%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||3-16 (18.8%)|
|19-24 (79.2%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||9-14 (64.3%)|
Kaleb Wesson recorded his 11th double-double this year, including a season-high 18 rebounds. He scored 16 points, tying his season high by going 10-for-13 from the free-throw line.
CJ Walker continued his recent stretch of stellar play with 15 points and three assists. Freshman forward E.J. Liddell had a career-high eight blocks, adding five points.
Buoyed by his early hot shooting from behind the arc, Washington scored 14 points. After his trio of made 3s to begin the game, he made 2-of-11 shots. Andre Wesson and Luther Muhammad each added nine points.
Taking advantage of Nebraska's lack of size in the frontcourt, Ohio State had a 48-33 edge on the glass, including 14 offensive rebounds. Five different players – Kaleb Wesson, Andre Wesson, Walker, Muhammad and Liddell – each grabbed at least five rebounds.
Neither team was particularly efficient from the field, with both shooting 40 percent or below from the floor, but Nebraska had a particularly anemic offense. The Cornhuskers shot 35.6 percent and hit only 3-of-16 3-pointers. They didn't connect on their first shot from behind the arc until midway through the second half.
Neither Kyle Young nor Alonzo Gaffney were available to play on Thursday.
Young sat out after suffering a high ankle sprain in Sunday's win against Maryland. Chris Holtmann has said there isn't a specific timeline for his return. Gaffney did not make the trip due to an illness.
Next up: Ohio State returns to Columbus on Sunday to play host to Michigan. The game will tip off at 4 p.m. and will be shown on CBS.
- Without Young able to play, Holtmann adjusted his starting five to play three guards: CJ Walker, Luther Muhammad, Duane Washington Jr., Andre Wesson Kaleb Wesson.
- The Buckeyes now only have one road game remaining. They'll end the regular season in East Lansing, Michigan, with a game versus the Spartans on March 8.
- Ohio State is 3-0 against Nebraska in the Holtmann era with two wins coming in Lincoln.