The Ohio State basketball team lost again in another close game they had the ability to win. After losing to Northwestern on Thursday night, the Buckeyes have fallen to a record of 11-13. The Buckeyes will face Michigan State at home at 1:00 pm ET on CBS.
The Buckeyes were on the losing end again Thursday, again by single digits. They fought hard throughout most of the contest, but turnovers and a lack of three point shooting left them short. The Buckeyes had 14 turnovers and managed to make just one three point attempt, while Northwestern made 12.
Brice Sensabaugh came off the bench in this game and again seems out of rhythm. The freshmen was only able to muster 4 points on 1/8 from the field.
Justice Sueing and Bruce Thornton were the only Buckeyes able to break into double figures. Sueing had 19 to go with 8 boards and Thornton notched 12 to along with 2 boards and 3 assists.
The Buckeyes need to continue to attack the glass, minimize turnovers, and create difficult situations for opposing offenses. They clearly are struggling as a team to score anywhere besides in the paint and at the line. This just isn’t going to be a recipe for success when combined with a plethora of turnovers.
A Look at the Spartans:
The Spartans are 15-9 on the season and sit at 9th in the Big Ten. It isn’t as much of them behind on a down year as it is the Big Ten being brutally tough top to bottom.
The projected lineup:
AJ Hoggard (G)
Tyson Walker (G)
Jaden Akins (G)
Mady Sissoko (C)
Joey Hauser (F)
The Spartans are one of the best teams in the conference at shooting the long ball. Walker, Akins, and Hauser are all shooting 40% or greater from long distance. This is something the Buckeyes have to be attentive to, especially after letting Northwestern hit them with a barrage of triples.
Ultimately, the Spartans are built like any other Izzo team. With great guards, well coached, and deep, they are built to withstand the treacherous Big Ten and grind their way to wins. They were 2-4 in their last six, but still are safely in the tournament conversation. They will need to secure a victory against Ohio State to keep that pace.
The Buckeyes starting lineup (based off last outing):
Isaac Likekele (G)
Sean McNeil (G)
Bruce Thornton (G)
Justice Sueing (F)
Zed Key (C)
Chris Holtmann continues to jumble the starting rotation. Trying to keep Sensabaugh from getting taxed and into foul trouble and get his super-Senior, Justice Sueing, going offensively. This partially worked in the last outing, in regards to Sueing only.
The Buckeyes are going to need everyone working their hardest to salvage something from this season. It’s still quite possible to finish at .500 or better, which should be the goal at the minimum.
Ohio State is miraculously a 3.5 point favorite in this game, but shouldn’t be. They are on a 5-game losing streak and just can’t play consistently for 40 minutes. I like the Spartans to win, dog fight or not.
Score Prediction: 76-68, Michigan State
featured image: Mark Marton, AP Photo