For a half of basketball, the No. 10 seed Ohio State men’s basketball team was keeping pace with the No. 2 seed Arizona Wildcats for the right to head to the Sweet 16.
But after trailing by just one at halftime, OSU (24-11) fell to Arizona (33-3) 73-58 on Saturday, ending its season in Portland, Ore.
The Buckeyes were outrebounded by 17 for the game, and committed 12 turnovers as the Wildcats move on to the Sweet 16 and are set to take on the winner of Xavier vs. Georgia State in Los Angeles on Thursday.
After a 28-point performance against Virginia Commonwealth on Thursday night, freshman guard D’Angelo Russell struggled in the first half shooting, as he made just 2-of-11 shots from the field.
Russell, however, dished out five assists and added three rebounds in the first frame to keep the pace for the Buckeyes, as they trailed the favored Wildcats, 26-25, at halftime.
He finished with nine points and six helpers for the game. He shot just 3-of-19 from the field.
Arizona opened the second half pulling down rebounds and burying multiple shots from long range, led by junior guard Gabe York, who finished with 19 points, 15 of which came from deep.
The Wildcats led by as many as 13 before OSU cut the deficit to eight with just under eight minutes to play.
Within the minute Arizona’s lead swelled back to 13 as the Wildcats never trailed in the second half.
Senior forward Sam Thompson, who scored just two points in the win over VCU on Thursday, scored seven points in the first half and added two blocks. He finished with a team-high 18 points in the game.
Fellow senior, guard Shannon Scott added 10 points for the OSU, but also committed four turnovers in his final game as a Buckeye.
Arizona senior guard T.J. McConnell, who lost to OSU two years ago in the Sweet 16, led the Wildcats with 19 points while adding six assists to go along with five steals.
The loss means the end of the season for the Buckeyes, and the end of the OSU careers for Scott, Thompson, senior centers Amir Williams and Trey McDonald and redshirt-senior forward Anthony Lee.
Russell, is a projected lottery pick in the 2015 NBA Draft but has not yet announced a decision as to whether he will return to OSU for a sophomore season.