Ohio State Falls to Wisconsin at the Kohl Center, Lose to Badgers 71-67


When the Ohio State Buckeyes took the court for the 25th time this season, despite being undefeated, they were considered the underdogs. After an up and down game that saw a fifteen point lead for Ohio State at one point and ended in the first loss of the season, a lesson was learned.

Plain and Simple, nobody is perfect.

At the end of the first half and early on in the second, it looked like the Buckeyes were going to take their game to the next level. Defensively, they held point guard Jordan Taylor to just six points. Despite giving up quite a big amount of good looks from beyond the arc, Jon Leuer had been for the most part silenced in the ballgame. With 13:21 left in the ballgame, Buckeye Nation thought that a 15 point lead was the cold shot to the heart that killed the Kohl Center Crowd.

By the end of the game the only cold thing was having to watch Badger fans storm the court like they just defeated the world.

After a slow first half, Taylor became a mad child scoring 21 points and tearing apart a Buckeyes defense that caused three turnovers and silenced the grind em out Wisconsin style offense. Willam Buford paced the Buckeyes, scoring 21 points and at points keeping the Buckeyes in the ballgame.

Despite not playing the best inside, freshman Jared Sullinger scored 19 points and brought down 12 rebounds. Fellow freshman forward Deshaun Thomas only played six minutes in the game and big man Dallas Lauderdale also only saw six minutes as Ohio State tried to match-up best defensively outside the perimeter.

Mike Bruesewitz had a solid game for the Badgers off the bench, contributing 22 minutes on the court and 12 points. The Badgers overall shot 50% from beyond the arc, dropping 12 of 24 shots.

On the other hand, Ohio State just shot 9 shots from three point territory, making only three of them. Jon Diebler kept his three point streak alive, but was almost a non-factor on both sides of the court. The senior scored only nine points, four of which came from the free throw line.

The Buckeyes now fall to 24-1 and will look to take out their agression on today’s loss Tuesday as they take on the Spartans at home.

Game Notes:

  • Despite the slight mismatch on defense beyond the arc, it was rather interesting that Thad Matta decided to go with a strict 5 man rotation less than midway into the first half. Dallas Lauderdale started the game with a couple rebounds, but defensively couldn’t keep up with the outside pressence. It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff responds to this when Wisconsin comes to Value Center arena later this month.
  • Earlier this week, I claimed that Jordan Taylor is slightly over-rated. I take that back after this game. This is a man that knows how to take over a ballgame. Hats off to the point guard for embracing the crowd and get his team back into the ball-game. Again, I’d like to see how he responds on the road in take II of this series this season. Even Taylor credited Aaron Craft defensively after the game, calling him “one of, if not the best defensive player in the Big Ten.”
  • Despite being over-matched most of the game, Jared Sullinger found a way to put points on the board and bring the ball down. The freshman made some silly mistakes in the post and the Buckeyes couldn’t work their offense around him, but his heart and character were very promising. Something you like to see heading into March. His first lost of his young collegiate career. Now the question is, “how will he respond?”
  • No matter how many wins and losses you have, there is no excuse for giving up a 15-0 run in a crucial part of the game. The Buckeyes have gotten comfortable way too many times this season when holding the lead. Jordan Taylor and the rest of the Badgers were down big time and the Kohl Center of all places was silenced. To just allow the Badgers to come back without no fight is disheartening. Hopefully it’s a wake up call to this young team that you have to play the full game if you want to win the big ones.
  • The Buckeyes forced six turnovers in the first half against a team that only gives up seven and a half a game. Plain and simple the Badgers responded in the second half and the defense for the Buckeyes did not. The Badgers have only lost six games at the Kohl Center in the tenure of Bo Ryan. The Kohl Center is not hosting any part of the NCAA tournament.
  • William Buford can take over a ballgame. The guard scored 15 points during Ohio State’s 23-6 run at the end of the first half and into the second. It’s good to see another player take over at one point of the game. Buford has that ability and sometimes we forget about it.