Ohio State Basketball: Buckeyes Head to Nebraska for Road Test

The 13-5 Ohio State Buckeyes are hopeful to keep the winning vibes going as they hit the road. Away games in this conference are always difficult, and a significantly improved Nebraska team reaffirms that. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 pm ET live from Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska, with exclusive television coverage only on Peacock.


Nebraska has started this campaign very well, boasting a 14-5 record. However they are just 4-4 in conference play. Despite knocking off #1 Purdue just a couple of weeks ago, the Cornhuskers have lost 2 of their last 3 games.

Projected Starting 5:

Jamarques Lawrence – G

Keisei Tominaga – G

Brice Williams – G

Josiah Allick – F

Rienk Mast – F

The leading scorer for this group is none other than senior guard Keisei Tominaga. He is giving his team 14.5 points per contest while knocking down 38% of his 3-point attempts. This success rate justifies him taking by far the most shots from distance on the team. He is also a decent defender, with his aggressive play often bothering opposing guards.

Brice Williams has also been more than respectable this season, tallying 13.3 points per game. A savvy vet who isn’t afraid to shoot from outside as well, Williams represents another tough matchup for the young Ohio State guards.

The Huskers also have a 6’10” big man from the Netherlands, Rienk Mast. He gives the Huskers 12.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest. It’ll be interesting to see how the Buckeyes manage his presence with Felix Okpara and Zed Key expected to be his opponents down low.

Overall, the Huskers are a nightmare matchup for any team, especially at home. They attempt three pointers at one of the highest clips in the country, with numerous players capable of making them. They also playing some very stingy defense and forcing tough shots. We shall see if they remain undefeated at home in conference play.


This team was finally able to snap their losing skid with a hard fought win over Penn State on Saturday. Despite Scotty Middleton’s absence via suspension and Bruce Thornton only tallying three points, the Buckeyes got the job done. Evan Mahaffey, the former Nittany Lion, was a big part of this success with a career high 16 points.

Projected Starting 5:

Roddy Gayle Jr. – G

Bruce Thornton – G

Evan Mahaffey – G

Jamison Battle – F

Felix Okpara – C

The Buckeyes have been led in scoring by Thornton, who is tallying 16 points per game. Jamison Battle and Roddy Gayle are right behind him at 14.4 and 14.2 points, respectively. It is the play of the young sophomore guards that has either driven or sunk this offense. Although Gayle and Thornton have both taken massive leaps into year two, the play needs to be consistent for this team to see long term success. However, Chris Holtmann has to be happy about other guys stepping up to the challenge, including Mahaffey, who put up career numbers despite a massive off-court battle with his father’s health. The transfer from Penn State certainly got his “revenge” against his former team. But Holtmann hopes this will boost his confidence in both his talent and size advantage. 

Okpara continues to show his worth on both ends of the floor as well. He is averaging nearly three blocks per contest, forcing teams to take tough shots in the paint and holding his own against Big Ten big men. He has even started to figure out his offensive role, grabbing numerous offensive boards and showing some finesse in close.

Ultimately, the Buckeyes are one of the youngest teams in the Big Ten and country, so each game is a learning experience. The challenge is not only learning, but also winning. The Buckeyes and Holtmann need to see more consistency shooting from distance and playing with full effort for a full 40 minutes.


This is a really tough matchup for the Buckeyes who have lost 12 straight road games, dating to last season. While Nebraska is 4-0 at home in conference play and coming off a win over a talented Northwestern group. It will take a near-perfect game for Ohio State to win, which is daunting.

All the numbers point to Nebraska covering the 3.5 points and getting the job done. It’s tough to disagree with what we’ve seen of late.

Final: Nebraska 74, Ohio State 68

featured image: Joseph Maiorana, USA Today Sports