The Huskers started out hot, with James Palmer Jr and Isaiah Roby making back to back threes, and Glynn Watson Jr. driving to the rim to extend an early lead to 8-2. However of course the offense randomly went stagnant for a couple minutes, and let Ohio State take a 9-8 lead at the U16 media timeout.
Isaac Copeland ended the drought with a quick three right after the timeout, followed by a floater from JPJ. But then another three minute scoring drought lasted until the U12 media timeout, luckily for both teams.
The drought ended with an easy Roby layup and a Thomas Allen floater, where he went right into the big body of Kaleb Wesson. But that scoring surge came to a thundering halt, yet again.
Just as it seemed Nebraska would run away with this one, leading 19-12, Ohio State went on a 13-3 run heading into the U4 media timeout, where Nebraska didn’t score for four minutes. The Huskers got good looks, specifically at the rim, but could never finish, much like the Rutgers game.
A break at the U4 media timeout most think would let the team settle down and get some good offensive possessions, but nope. Outside of one possession where Watson made his classic long-two fadeaway, the energy was never there. It seemed as if Nebraska easily could’ve at least tied it during that span, which made it even more frustrating to watch. Ohio State led 29-24 at halftime.
The energy came alive first possession after the break, with Cope hitting the Huskers first three since Palmer’s three with 10 minutes left in first half. Bad news though after Cope’s three.
Going in for a dunk, Cope landed awkwardly on his knee, non contact, and went to the locker room after a couple minutes. He was able to walk it off, but winced in pain with each step.
Nebraska responded well though, finally getting the crowd into the game with a Palmer three and tying it at the U16 media timeout. When the PBA crowd gets into the game, few teams are able to play at their best. So far, only Michigan State has been able to.
But the life of the crowd was sucked away by another scoring drought lasting from the U16 media timeout until the U12 media timeout. That was the bad news, good news is Cope came back to the bench and looked much better than he did when he went to the locker room.
With Copeland out, Nebraska had no high post presence, which beats a zone defense. The Buckeyes switched to a 2-3 zone and Nebraska couldn’t do anything. Not to mention Ohio State made four straight threes during the Husker’s scoring drought, giving OSU a 56-43 lead at the U8 media timeout.
In times of need, Watson always seems to come up big. Watson checked back in and went on a 6-0 run of his own, converting an and-one and a step back three. The tide began to turn, the momentum was creeping towards Nebraska, but then Luther Muhammed decided to make a crazy shot clock expiring three to end any hope for the Huskers. That sealed the game.
Final Score: Ohio State 70 Nebraska 59
Nebraska’s inability to consistently make three point shots, as well as rebound, is what lost them this game, and every single loss of the season. Rebounding is understandable, but you must make your open threes. Teams know how to beat Nebraska now, attack down low on offense, and play zone on defense.
Hopefully Copeland is okay for Wisconsin, but their past three performances do not look good for Nebraska’s chances against Wiscy. If the shots aren’t falling, this team needs to get energized and motivated, versus chucking up bad shots to try and get back in the game.