Ohio State Remains Unbeaten At Home With 73-55 Blowout Win Over Wisconsin

By Griffin Strom on December 11, 2021 at 1:53 pm

In one fell swoop, the Buckeyes halted a six-game Badger win streak, notched a third ranked win and remained unbeaten both at home and in Big Ten play in blowout fashion on Saturday.

A slight favorite over No. 22 Wisconsin to enter the weekend, the 21st-ranked Buckeyes extended their own win streak to a season-high four games with the 73-55 victory, handing Greg Gard and company their first defeat in conference competition during a Saturday matinee at the Schottenstein Center.

Team 1 2 FINAL
#21 OHIO STATE 34 39 73
#22 WISCONSIN 29 26 55

Although a combined 10 games from both teams had finished by a single-digit margin entering the game, the Buckeyes got up big on the Badgers in the second half, building a 20-point lead at the 9:53 mark while Wisconsin missed 14 of its first 16 shots to start the second period. Ohio State made it an even wider margin in the final minute of the game, going up by as many as 23 before all was said and done.

E.J. Liddell turned in another dominant effort for Ohio State, hitting the 20-point mark for the fifth time this season to finish with 28 as the Buckeyes governed the glass and took advantage of a woeful day shooting for Wisconsin.

The Badgers shot just 29.4 percent in the second half and hit just two of their 13 3-point attempts in the period, and Ohio State won the rebounding margin 49-28 for the game despite Wisconsin possessing the size advantage on paper.

Ohio State shot a hair under 20-percent better than the Badgers in the first half, knocking down .577 of its field goals and more than doubling Wisconsin’s rebounding total to mount a 34-29 lead after one half of play at the Schottenstein Center.

The Badgers had the lead early though, as they used a 15-2 run to get out in front of the Buckeyes with a 17-9 edge after a Tyler Wahl and-one at the 11:47 mark. That sequence was set up by the sixth Ohio State turnover of the half, and the Buckeyes turned it over four times in the 2:42 that led up to the Wahl basket.

The Buckeyes finished with 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, and Liddell and Malaki Branham combined for five by themselves. But the perimeter offense of Brad Davison and Johnny Davis was another thorn in the side of the Buckeyes, as the backcourt duo combined to score 24 points for Wisconsin in the opening half – including four 3-pointers.

Liddell exploded for 14 points in the first half in his own right, pouring in 12 of the first 16 for Ohio State, but his teammates came alive to give him a lift in the latter portion of the half as the Buckeyes regained the lead. 

73 POINTS 55
29-58 (50.0%) FGM-FGA (PCT.) 22-65 (33.8%)
6-19 (31.6%) 3PM-3PA (PCT.) 6-26 (23.1%)
9-13 (69.2%) FTM-FTA (PCT.) 5-9 (55.6%)

Jamari Wheeler scored five straight points during a 12-0 run that put Ohio State ahead 23-19 with 6:37 to play in the half, and Cedric Russell scored seven points in the final 4:03, including a 3-pointer that gave the Buckeyes a 34-29 lead with 1:34 to go. That shot proved to be the final points of the half for either team, and Ohio State took a five-point advantage to halftime.

The Buckeyes scored eight of the first 10 points to start the second half, and 5:02 into the period, Ohio State opened up a game-high 11-point lead over the Badgers. Meechie Johnson knocked down two 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the half, dished an assist and came up with a steal that led to a Zed Key dunk to push the Buckeye lead to 49-36 before a timeout at 11:43. 

While the Badgers went ice cold from the field for the first 10 minutes, Ohio State had mounted a 20-point advantage by the 9:53 mark, going up 56-36 on Wisconsin after an and-one from Liddell.

The Badgers cut the lead to 13 points on a Davis 3-pointer with 3:15 to play, but Ohio State maintained control and cruised to the finish line to improve to 8-2 through the first 10 games of the season.

Key was the only Buckeye besides Liddell to finish in double-digits, finishing with 11 points for Ohio State, and Davis led the way for the Badgers with 24 points on 11-for-22 shooting.

What’s next: Ohio State doesn’t play again until next Saturday, when the Buckeyes travel to Las Vegas to take on John Calipari and 10th-ranked Kentucky as part of the CBS Sports Classic.

Other Notes

  • Ohio State leads the all-time series against Wisconsin 89-73, and the Buckeyes won their last matchup with the Badgers in a 74-62 victory at the Kohl Center in Madison on Jan. 23 of this year.
  • Of the games that have taken place in Columbus in the all-time series, the Buckeyes have won 54 of 79. The last meeting that took place in the Schottenstein Center was won by the Badgers, 61-57, on Jan. 3, 2020.
  • Ohio State forwards Justin Sueing (abdomen) and Seth Towns (back) were both unavailable for the Buckeyes on Saturday.
  • For the fourth straight game, Jamari Wheeler, Malaki Branham, Justin Ahrens, E.J. Liddell and Zed Key started the game for Ohio State.
  • Ohio State wore its anthracite alternate uniforms for the first time this season against Wisconsin.
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