Caught in a dogfight since the opening tip, the Ohio State men’s basketball team edged Nebraska 67-66 for its second straight conference win. Senior forward Marc Loving broke free on an inbound play, picking up an easy lay-in for the game-winning shot.
OSU’s offense got rolling early with two straight 3-point shots in under three minutes by senior forward Marc Loving and redshirt junior guard Kam Williams. The Buckeyes held a 9-4 lead to start the game, but turnovers quickly allowed Nebraska to claw its way back.
In less than 12 minutes, OSU had committed seven turnovers, four of which came from sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle. Lyle finished the game with just three assists to go along with the four turnovers.
The Cornhuskers were led by senior guard Tai Webster, who tallied 18 points. Sophomore forward Michael Jacobson and junior guard Evan Taylor each contributed 11 points and eight rebounds, but their efforts were not enough, as Nebraska is now 3-3 in the Big Ten.
With 2:22 left in the first half, OSU went on a 10-4 run, capped off by back-to-back 3s by Loving and freshman center Micah Potter, and an and-one from Lyle.
Using fast breaks and stout defense, Nebraska went to the locker room at halftime with a 40-32 lead, and an advantage in nearly every category. After taking a three-point lead into the half against Michigan State in their last game, the Buckeyes could not find a way to keep pace with Nebraska’s offense in the first half.
OSU trailed until a slam by redshirt junior center Trevor Thompson gave OSU a 53-52 lead with 8:43 left in the game. Thompson, even with some foul trouble, finished the game with 10 points and nine rebounds, but was forced to sit with 1:15 left after his fifth foul.
OSU struggled with turnovers and free throws, which has been a common theme this season. Shooting just 44 percent from the charity stripe and committing 11 turnovers, the Buckeyes never stretched out a sizable lead, but came away with the win.
However, Nebraska had its own problems from the free throw line, finishing the game 11-for-20. OSU limited Nebraska to just a 5-for-21 mark from deep.
Webster banked in a layup with 34 seconds left for a 66-65 lead, but it was the late basket from Loving that won the game for OSU.