The clash between two Big Ten powerhouses was as advertised on Tuesday night with the Buckeyes pulling out a 58-49 victory in front of a packed Value City Arena. Ten minutes into the ballgame, the scoreboard more closely resembled a battle between the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers than the Buckeyes and Badgers.
The Buckeyes needed a tremendous performance from their leading scorer Deshaun Thomas, who played every minute of Tuesday’s contest. He scored 25 points on 10 of 17 shooting from the field. In addition, he had 4 assists and 2 rebounds.
But the story of the game was Ohio State’s defense. Coming into this Big Ten matchup, it was clear that the Buckeyes would need their Offense to play strong against a stout Badger defense. If it were not for the performance of Thomas, Ohio State would have been left with only 33 points. So, the defense needed to come up strong to stop the Badgers from winning a low scoring game in Columbus. The Defense held the Badgers to 49 points on 36.5%.
The excellent defense was illustrated on Tuesday when Aaron Craft harassed the Wisconsin Point Guard into committing a shot clock violation without even getting a shot off. Craft even contributed on the Offensive end. He scored 13 points and had 7 rebounds. A troubling statistic from Tuesday was his 4 turnovers and only 2 assists.
Ohio State moves on to play the Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-11 overall, 2-7 conference) at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. They now have 16-4 record and are 6-2 in the Big East.
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