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Nebraska Men’s Basketball Recap: Nebraska eases past Ohio State 83-69

Rienk Mast for the Wooden award

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Nebraska Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

First Half Analysis:

Nebraska took a 43-35 lead into halftime. Ohio State came out hot in this game, starting 4-4 from the floor. Really good offense led to some easy looks on both ends of the floor. Ohio State had plenty of open looks under the hoop, as they scored 18 points in the paint. Nebraska had gone on a 3+ minute scoring drought, which let the Buckeyes climb to a 20-13 lead at the under 12 timeout. Rienk Mast caused a stoppage for blood, his 4th consecutive game that this has happened for him for those keeping track (I knew you were). Nebraska subsequently used a 10-2 run to pull back within one. Nebraska started the half 3-12 from deep but hit 4 consecutive 3’s to regain the lead. Both teams got a good look inside the final minute to score on their final possession of the half.

Ohio State finished the first half shooting 13-29 for 44.8% from the floor and 2-8 for 25% from the three-point line. The Buckeyes went 7-11 for 63.6% from the free throw line. Ohio State collected 17 rebounds, 4 of which were offensive. The big stat for Ohio State was the 18 points in the paint.

The Buckeyes were led by leading scorer Bruce Thornton, who had 11 first half points. Evan Mahaffey had 6. Jamison Battle led the Buckeyes in rebounds with 5. Zed Key was second on the team with 4. Thornton had 4 assists while Mahaffey had 3.

Nebraska finished the first half shooting 15-34 for 44.1% from the floor and 7-17 for 41.2% from the three-point line. Nebraska shot 6-8 for 75% from the free throw line. Nebraska collected 20 rebounds, 6 of which were offensive. The Huskers had 10 assists on their 15 made field goals. Nebraska did a much better job of taking care of the basketball, only committing 3 turnovers.

The Huskers were led by Rienk Mast, who had 13 points. Brice Williams had 9. Williams led the Huskers with 5 rebounds, while Mast and Jamarques Lawrence had 4 each. Mast and Lawrence also tied for the team lead with 3 assists.

Second Half Analysis:

Rienk Mast hit a bucket to open up a 10-point lead in the opening possession, but Ohio State quickly used an 8-1 run to cut the Husker lead down to 3, courtesy of a couple of 3-pointers by the Buckeyes. Ohio State looked like they were about to take the lead, but some key defensive stops by Nebraska, and two 3-pointers by Wilcher and 1 by Mast got Nebraska back up by 10. Rienk Mast then went off ladies and gentlemen. He scored 21 points in the 2nd half. It seemed like every single shot he took went in. Nebraska then expanded the lead to 15 and it held around that the rest of the way.

Final Stats and Thoughts:

Ohio State finished the game 27-56 for 48.2% from the floor and 8-23 for 34.8% from the three-point line. The Buckeyes finished 7-12 for 58.3% from the free throw line. Ohio State collected 28 rebounds, only 6 of which were offensive. They finished with 17 assists and 9 turnovers. The Buckeyes had 32 points in the paint and had 6 blocks.

The Buckeyes were led by leading scorer Bruce Thornton, who hit his average of 16 points. Jamison Battle finished with 11 points, while Bowen Hardman came off the bench late and finished with 11 himself. Battle led the Buckeyes with 7 rebounds, and Zed Key finished with 6. Thornton finished with 6 assists and Roddy Gayle Jr had 5.

Nebraska finished the night shooting 30-61 for 49.2% from the floor and a spectacular 14-27 for 51.9% from the three-point line. The Huskers shot 9-12 for 75% from the free throw line. Nebraska collected 35 rebounds, 9 of which were offensive. Nebraska finished with 19 assists and 6 turnovers.

The Huskers were led by a career night from Rienk Mast, who finished the night with 34 points on 13-17 shooting, including a career high 6-8 from 3. CJ Wilcher finished with 16 and Brice Williams contributed 14. Mast finished with a double-double by leading Nebraska with 10 rebounds. Williams was second on the team with 7. Jamarques Lawrence had 6 assists to pace Nebraska.

The story of this game is Rienk Mast. With Juwan Gary still missing due to a calf strain, the story against Ohio State was how Nebraska would handle the Buckeye bigs. Apparently, the answer was Mast, and the Buckeyes had zero answers for him. Nebraska will be happy they could rest Keisei Tominaga, who didn’t play much in the second half, even after he picked up his second foul with 4 minutes to go in the first half. Nebraska did a fantastic job of increasing the lead without Keisei, with particularly good play from Sam Hoiberg, CJ Wilcher and Eli Rice.

Nebraska will look to exercise its B1G road demons when they travel to College Park to take on Maryland. Nebraska is currently 0-4 on the road in B1G play. Tip-off will be at 11 AM CST on Saturday January 27th. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.