Ohio State basketball: Today is a must-win for the Buckeyes vs Penn State

The Ohio State basketball team is currently on a three-game losing streak. This rough stretch makes the game today against Penn State a must-win for the Buckeyes.

Wisconsin v Ohio State
Wisconsin v Ohio State / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

The Ohio State basketball team is on pace to repeat what happened last January as they’re currently on a three game losing streak and sit at 2-4 in conference play. This story could be a little different as the Buckeyes have managed a lead in the last five minutes of each of the last three games, but they've have just been unable to finish. 

With this three-game losing skid, the Buckeyes are officially in must-win territory. They’ve got a chance today to get back in the right direction by hosting Penn State. This is also a good revenge spot for the Ohio State basketball team after they blew an 18-point second-half lead to Penn State in an eventual road loss to the Nittany Lions. 

The last time out against Penn State back in early December, the Ohio State basketball team looked incredible in the first half. They were playing like they could be a true contender in the Big Ten this year. Then came the second half of the game when Ohio State blew their massive lead and lost the game, beginning their downward spiral.

In the loss to the Nittany Lions, Ohio State had four players in double figures and two players each with nine points. Bruce Thornton led the Buckeyes with 17 points. Jamison Battle pitched in 13 points, while Roddy Gayle Jr added 11 points. Zed Key also managed a double-double off the bench in this game. Based on the last meeting, the Buckeyes should have no issue scoring today at home against Penn State. 

Today’s game is a must-win as their next three games to finish the month of January will not be easy. After today the Buckeyes hit the road to play Nebraska and Northwestern, then they come home to play #14 Illinois. They need a win today as my confidence level in them to manage this upcoming stretch well is not very high. 

The Ohio State basketball team can’t afford any more bad losses on their resume if they want to make the NCAA Tournament, and not have a repeat of last season. They only have a 1-5 record against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams according to the NET rankings. A win today could help them gain some momentum as they need to get some signature wins quickly. 

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It’s an early start time today as Ohio State and Penn State tip off at Noon ET on Big Ten Network. The Buckeyes are back home at Value City Arena to hopefully end this losing streak.