Of late, Williams Arena hasn't been friendly to Ohio State. Not since 2015 have the Buckeyes gone to Minneapolis and left The Barn with a win.
On Sunday night, Ohio State hoped to end the streak, but Liam Robbins and the Golden Gophers ensured that would not happen. No. 21 Minnesota led for nearly the entirety of the first half, pulling away as the second half went on as No. 25 Ohio State failed to make any sort of run to close the ever-growing gap, eventually completing a 77-60 win against the Buckeyes who fell to 8-3 on the season and 2-3 within the Big Ten.
Unable to overcome the deficit, Ohio State incredibly did not make two field goals in a row for the final 34 minutes without the Golden Gophers scoring between them. In other words, the Buckeyes didn't make any notable runs for a potential comeback. Minnesota grabbed a 12-point lead on a Both Gach 3-pointer in the 10th minute of the second half and held a double-digit edge for the rest of the game.
The Buckeyes did well to limit leading scorer Marcus Carr's ability to get buckets, but Robbins decimated them inside. The former Drake transfer and 7-footer recorded a game-high 27 points with 14 rebounds and five blocks, dominating the paint with the ball in his hands and making it impossible for Ohio State to find anything going down low on offense. Sixteen of his points came in the first half.
Minnesota, which shot 43.6 percent from the floor and made 9-of-22 3-pointers, had five different players score in double figures. Comparatively, only two Buckeyes scored more than six points.
Duane Washington Jr. led the Buckeyes with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, making 5-of-7 3-pointers in by far his most efficienct offensive game of the season. He had no help, though. His team made 31.1 percent of its shots, and second-leading scorer E.J. Liddell (10 points) was 3-for-11 from the floor. The non-Washington Buckeyes went 2-for-19 from 2-point range. Another positive? Ohio State grabbed 16 offensive rebounds.
That, though was not enough to change the outcome of the game. This will be one for the Buckeyes to learn from and quickly forget.
Next up: Ohio State goes back to Columbus to face Penn State (3-4) on Wednesday. It'll tip off at 6:30 p.m.
- Chris Holtmann made no changes to his starting five of CJ Walker, Duane Washington Jr., Justice Sueing, E.J. Liddell and Kyle Young. But he subbed Musa Jallow and Justin Ahrens in before the media under-16 timeout after his starting unit went down 7-0 within the first three-and-a-half minutes.
- This marked Jallow's return to the court after missing the win against Nebraska due to contact tracing. His absence was only for one game.
- Meechie Johnson and Ibrahima Diallo remained sidelined. Johnson's continuing to go through testing and protocols before working his way onto the court in practices then games. Diallo is out indefinitely with a knee injury.
- This was the only Ohio State-Minnesota matchup slated to take place this season – unless they meet in the postseason.
- The Buckeyes entered the day 2-2 against Minnesota in the Holtmann era and 87-59 all-time against the Golden Gophers.