Ohio State basketball can't close out another close game

The Ohio State basketball team was looking to get their best win of the season against a really good Wisconsin team. They weren't able to seal the deal.
Wisconsin v Ohio State
Wisconsin v Ohio State / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

The Ohio State basketball team has had some issues closing out close games recently. After doing a good job of keeping West Virginia from coming back and winning, the Buckeyes had back-to-back games where they either blew or almost blew a second-half lead.

Ohio State was able to hold on against Rutgers because their lead early in the second half was 17, so it was big enough to hold on to. Their lead at IU was 9 and that ended up not being enough. They were hoping to buck that trend against a good Wisconsin team on Wednesday night in the Schott.

Unfortunately, they weren't able to do so. The Buckeyes were battling the Badgers with the lead most of the second half, but ultimately lost it with about four minutes left and never got it back. Part of it was the fact that they couldn't make open shots or free throws.

Bruce Thornton had back-to-back on the front end of a 1-and-1 at the end of the game. In fact, the Buckeyes were just 4/10 from the free-throw line. Those misses loom large in such a close game. The Buckeyes fell 71-60 and those extra six points certainly could have helped.

Jamison Battle was a bright spot in the first half yet again for the Bucks. He had four three-pointers in the first half and finished with 18 points on 7/11 shooting. He was one of the few consistent sources of offense. He and Thornton were the only double-digit scorers.

Roddy Gayle had another awful night. He finished just 4/14 from the field and led the Ohio State basketball team with three turnovers. As long as he continues to be bad offensively, this team isn't going to be able to get any good wins. He's that important to this team.

Next. Next story. Ohio State football gets two more key members back. dark

Ohio State now falls to 2-2 in Big Ten play. It feels like the January slide is in full force.