It wasn’t pretty, but the Ohio State men’s basketball team was able to tough out a road win in conference play on Saturday night.
Despite blowing an 11 point lead in the second half, the Buckeyes overcame 17 turnovers and poor shooting throughout to grit its way to a 65-62 victory over Nebraska in overtime in Lincoln.
The Cornhuskers went on a 7-0 run to take a 56-54 lead with under a minute to play in regulation, but after two free throws from JaQuan Lyle tied the game with seven seconds left, Nebraska turned the ball over and five extra minutes were put on the clock.
In the extra frame, Lyle would score six of the Buckeyes final nine points to seal the victory. He finished with a game-high 19, all of which came in the second half or overtime.
The first half was nothing to boast about from either side as Ohio State shot just 30.8 percent from the floor, while the Cornhuskers shot 26.5 percent. Evening out the poor shooting from both sides was the turnover battle, as OSU was able to force just five first half turnovers defensively.
At the half, Nebraska held the slight edge on the scoreboard 22-21, while OSU held the rebounding edge by the same margin.
Coming out of the halftime locker rooms, Ohio State came out with a sense of urgency led by sophomore forward Jae’Sean Tate.
Tate tallied five points and four rebounds in a 9-0 run over a 2:14 minute span early in the second half to push the Buckeye lead to 30-25 with just under 16 minutes to play in the game. Tate finished with 15 points on the night and a game-high 12 rebounds as he recorded the only double-double in the game.
After Tate’s run, Lyle began to take the game over. After Lyle scored his tenth and eleventh points on a driving layup to give Ohio State a 41-30 lead, he was assessed a technical for taunting a Nebraska player. While the Cornhuskers missed the two technical free throws, the home team would go on a 9-2 run to cut the Buckeye lead to 43-39 with 7:43 to play.
Only four Buckeyes scored on the night, all of which were in double figures. Marc Loving finished with 15 points and Keita Bates-Diop finished with 16.
Despite entering the game last in the Big Ten, Ohio State was able to convert on 20 of its 26 free throw attempts, while the Cornhuskers were 15 of 23 on the night from the charity stripe.
While he struggled to score and stay out of foul trouble, Buckeye center Trevor Thompson was able to remain effective on the boards, finishing with 10 rebounds without registering a point. He fouled out with 7:43 to play in the game.