The Ohio State men’s basketball team hosts Nebraska Saturday evening in the final regular-season game between the two clubs. The Buckeyes (15-12, 5-9 Big Ten) beat the Cornhuskers, 67-66, in Lincoln on Jan. 18 when senior forward Marc Loving made a layup in the final seconds to give OSU the road victory.
Nebraska (11-14, 5-8) comes to Columbus having lost three out of its last four games and eight out of its last 10. Prior to this rough stretch, Nebraska beat both Indiana and Maryland in back-to-back games, both on the road.
“They go into Maryland and go on a (17-0) run, I think, to win the game, go into Indiana and knock them off,” said OSU head coach Thad Matta of the Cornhuskers on Friday. “They’ve had some great moments in terms of playing some big-time basketball.”
In the first meeting against the Buckeyes, senior guard Tai Webster had a game-high 18 points for the Huskers, shooting 7 of 15 from the floor. He is leading the team with 17.8 points per game.
Webster’s backcourt mate, Glynn Watson Jr., is second on the squad with 14.0 ppg. The sophomore guard finished with 10 points in the first tilt vs. the Buckeyes this season.
Though Watson and Webster had an impact in that contest, Matta said Saturday’s game against the Huskers will come down to how his team performs.
“We have to go out and play,” Matta said. “Yeah, we will be prepared for Nebraska tomorrow night but a lot of it is just on us. Trying to shore up all the things we need to shore up in terms of us going out and giving ourselves the best chance to win.”
OSU holds a significant advantage in the all-time series between the two programs. The Buckeyes have won 14 of the 17 games vs. Nebraska, which includes a perfect 7-0 mark for the contests played in Columbus.
The Buckeyes could use an eighth victory on their home floor vs. Nebraska, given that they are coming off successive road losses to Maryland and Michigan State.
“Every game is important at this point,” Loving said Friday. “Getting back on track and getting a ‘W’ in the win column is always a positive.”
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