Ohio State hands the Huskers their worst home loss in more than a century
Lincoln. — William Buford's 15 points led three Buckeyes in double figures, as sixth-ranked Ohio State topped Nebraska, 79-45, in front of a season-high crowd of 12,214 at the Devaney Center Saturday night.
The Buckeyes (17-3, 5-2 Big Ten) used an 10-0 run midway through the first half to take control and never looked back, stifling the momentum after Nebraska's quick start.
The Huskers, looking for their second straight win over a ranked opponent, led 8-5 after a pair of Brandon Ubel free throws at the 15:44 mark, but Aaron Craft's 3-pointer began a run of 13 straight points for the Buckeyes, as Nebraska went over seven minutes without a point to falling behind 18-8.
Brandon Richardson then ended the scoring drought, as his layup started a 6-2 spurt for the Big Red, as Nebraska pulled within 20-14 on a Spencer jumper with 7:37 left in the half. The Huskers fell behind by 10 before a Dylan Talley 3-pointer and Caleb Walker free throw made it 24-18, but the Buckeyes closed the half on a 12-2 spurt to take a 36-20 lead into the locker room as Evan Ravenel's basket beat the first half horn.
The Buckeyes opened the second half with a 9-3 run in building a 45-23 lead after a Buford jumper, and the Huskers were never able to pull closer than 20 the rest of the way.
Buford was 6-of-13 shooting from the floor, including a trio of 3-pointers, while Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas had 14 points apiece in the victory.
Brandon Ubel and Bo Spencer led Nebraska with eight points apiece as Nebraska shot a season-low 29.5 percent from the floor and committed a season-high 27 turnovers that led to 22 Buckeye points
The Huskers will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, on Thursday, Jan. 26 for their next game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and also televised on ESPNU.
*-The Huskers fell to 1-4 against ranked teams, and have played five ranked opponents in their first eight conference games.
*-The crowd of 12,214 was a season high, topping the previous best of 11,422 against Wisconsin on Dec. 27.
*-Nebraska had 23 rebounds in the first half against the Buckeyes after totaling just 21 in the first meeting and out-rebounded Ohio State, 39-34.
*-Nebraska had a season-high 27 turnovers (previous season high was 20 at Illinois on Jan. 7, which is Nebraska's highest total in Doc Sadler's six seasons. The previous high was 24 against Oklahoma State on March 8, 2008. NU had combined for just 17 turnovers in the last two contests.
*-The 34-point margin of defeat is Nebraska's largest since the Devaney Center opened in the 1976-77 season. The previous was a 30-point loss to Kansas on Feb 1, 2003.
*-Bo Spencer finished with eight points, only the fourth time this season he has been held under double figures.
*-Brandon Richardson finished with two steals and now has 128 in his career, good for 10th in school history. That total matches the career total of both Jack Moore (1979-82) and Eric Johnson (1988-89).
*-Nebraska didn't have anyone finish in double figures for the first time in 60 games dating back to Feb. 2, 2010.
Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta
Opening Statement "Obviously a great win for us. (It was) a great road win. As we talked about, being down the first timeout, I thought Nebraska was playing harder than us. They were quicker to the ball. Defensively down the stretch in the first half, we did a very good job of limiting open looks and getting our hands on balls from the weak side position. Evan (Ravenel's) shot at the horn was a big boost to put us up 16 and gave us a little bit of momentum coming out in the second half. We had a good start to the second half."
On the first four minutes of the game
"We felt that Nebraska was going to come out with a surge to start the game. Obviously coming off a tremendous win, we had to match their intensity. We were just a step behind. They got a tip-in on us. We had a timeout, though, in the first half and the guys knew we meant business coming out of it."
On playing defense on the road
"I think our guys would be the first to tell you that we spend the majority of our time on defense. Knowing that Nebraska has shot the ball well in here, we knew we had to be there on the catch and get as much support as we could."
Nebraska Head Coach Doc Sadler
Opening Statement "Obviously I'm very disappointed in our basketball team. You know, I can't say enough about us in the last six or seven ball games and I thought we were playing pretty well, but tonight's game was a poorly coached game on my part and it was a poorly prepared for game on the players part. You're going to have to do everything almost perfectly to have a chance to beat an Ohio State team if they're playing well. I think they did play well. I don't know what Thad (Matta) thought, but I thought they played very very well. Even at that, I'm not going to say that we didn't have a lot to do with it because with 27 turnovers you can't beat anybody. We turned it over 17 times in the last two ball games combined, you know, to come in here and do that, it was just a very selfish exhibition of basketball starting with myself by not having this team ready."
On if he saw this coming
"Not at all. I don't think you can have any sense of that. We had two really good days of practice and like I said, the Wisconsin game at home and Michigan State, we didn't play that bad at Ohio State. We didn't have everybody. The last four or five games, we have been playing really good basketball. You don't go to Illinois or Wisconsin and be in it in the last minute of the game without playing good basketball. We came back and got two wins. I did not see this at all. We just have to get back to going the way we were going. Does it hurt? Yeah it hurts. But when you know you didn't do anything, when it hurts is when you've done everything you could possibly do and come up short and you feel for them. There is not anything that we did from coaching to anything that gave us a chance to win tonight."
On if he uses this game as a barometer
"Not at all. This isn't the team that played the past five or six games. We have played good basketball. Don't get confused. That team you watched tonight has beaten some pretty good games by 30 also and you add in 27 turnovers. You're not going to get even close with them. But not at all, no, because we have been playing well."
Junior Forward Brandon Ubel On it being a weird game to be involved in "Yeah. I don't think we could have played any worse. 27 turnovers. I don't think I've ever been on a team that's turned it over 27 times. You play that bad, with that many turnovers against a team like Ohio State, they're going to make you pay and that's what happened."
On getting too amped up for this game "I don't know if it was too amped up. We started off well and then we got down six or eight. I think we might have started to panic a little bit and tried and rush things to try and even the score up quickly instead of just grinding it out like we did on the first few possessions. I think we might have just panicked a little when we got down early a little and forced some things and turned the basketball over.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.