Following Ohio State's 58-57 loss to Nebraska on Saturday night in which the Buckeyes blew a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of the game, the team is simply trying to move on from that defeat.
“Obviously, the goal is to just get better,” said OSU freshman center Micah Potter on Wednesday. “It was kind of a crazy game, kind of a crazy way to end it. Obviously, we were disappointed in what happened and how the outcome was, but we’ve got to move forward.”
As mentioned, the Buckeyes were ahead of the Cornhuskers by five late in the game. OSU even owned an 11-point advantage early in the second half before falling to sub-.500 Nebraska (12-14, 6-8 Big Ten) at home.
“Obviously, the way we lost is kind of, I guess you could put in a sense, tragic,” said OSU sophomore guard C.J. Jackson on Wednesday.
Buckeye head coach Thad Matta clarified what Jackson meant when he described the defeat as “tragic.”
“The ‘tragic’ is in how we lost it,” Matta said Wednesday. “The one thing I don’t want to do is take anything away from Nebraska. It’s more in how we lost the game in my opinion, so I want to make sure that’s worded right. I don’t want to take anything away from them because those guys played extremely hard and did a great job.”
While the club was stunned by the result vs. the Huskers, Potter noted that can happen in basketball and so the team must continue pushing forward.
“I think any loss is going to hurt,” Potter said. “No one here likes to lose. I don’t think anyone would like to lose. But it’s part of the game of basketball, you win some you lose some. In this case, we have a huge game coming up tomorrow and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for it.”
That huge game is a date with No. 16 Wisconsin (22-5, 11-3). It will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The Badgers handily won the first contest, 89-66, in Madison, Wis., on Jan. 12.
“I think we definitely need to get some kind of revenge,” Potter said. “We didn’t come ready to play against them when we played them at their place and that showed. We got manhandled, plain and simple, we got manhandled. I think we’ve got a little bit of a chip on our shoulder coming into this next game, I think we’re all very focused and ready to go.”
Jackson echoed Potter’s sentiment in the sense that the squad cannot live in the past.
“Coach Matta is a great coach and he knows that we have to get ready for this game tomorrow,” Jackson said. “Dwelling on the loss this past Saturday is not going to help us for tomorrow with a great team like Wisconsin coming in here. So he’s kind of just taken the approach that we need to move forward, learn from our mistakes and just keep playing.”
Matta explained that the challenge for a team that suffered a loss like the one vs. Nebraska is for it to respond positively.
“The one thing in college basketball that is good and bad is you can dwell on what’s happened, but it’s like, ‘Gosh, how do we get ourselves ready to try to do the best we can the next game?’” Matta said. “And that’s kind of been where we have tried to take this basketball team.”
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