Rapid Recap: Ohio State 63, Northwestern 49

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Rapid Recap: Ohio State 63, Northwestern 49

Ryan Taylor puts up a layup. Northwestern missed a lot of shots Wednesday.

Ryan Taylor puts up a layup. Northwestern missed a lot of shots Wednesday.

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Ryan Taylor puts up a layup. Northwestern missed a lot of shots Wednesday.

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Ryan Taylor puts up a layup. Northwestern missed a lot of shots Wednesday.

Peter Warren, Web Editor

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Men’s Basketball


On a night in which a player breaking his shoe was the biggest play across college basketball, Northwestern and Ohio State played a sleepy game in Columbus, Ohio.

After a first half when nothing seemed to be going right on offense for either teams, the Buckeyes (17-9, 7-8 Big Ten) outplayed the Wildcats (12-14, 3-12), winning 63-49.

The beginning of the game featured very few points. In the first eight minutes of the game, only three baskets were scored — a dunk from Kaleb Wesson, a layup from senior center Dererk Pardon and a three-pointer from Duane Washington Jr. At the 12 minute mark, it was 5-3 in favor of Ohio State.

After that the offenses picked up a little bit, but not by much. The first-half saw NU score 20 points — its least amount of points in a first half since Jan. 29, 2018, against Michigan.

The second half saw much better activity on the offensive end, and the Cats scored 18 points in the first ten minutes. At the second-half halfway mark, the Buckeyes were only up four points. Four minutes later there were down 12 points. Two minutes after that, it was 18 points, and the game was well out of reach.

Takeaways

1. The first half was not pretty. Watching NU on offense the last few weeks, sans the Iowa game, has been a painful activity. Everything seems to clank off the rim and when Pardon is double-teamed, there seems to be a lack of creativity on offense to attack that. The first half saw the Cats struggle all over the court, shooting 7-for-24 from the field and 2-for-11 from beyond the arc. For those who have watched the team over the last few weeks, it was par for the course.

2. Even with Benson and Pardon starting, the Buckeyes dominated the paint. For the fourth straight game, junior center Barret Benson started alongside Pardon. But the choice was not effective. Ohio State forward Kaleb Wesson was the best player on the floor, scoring 22 points and collecting eight rebounds on 8-for-14 shooting. Forty of the Buckeyes’ 63 points came in the painted area, and the teams as 13-for-21 on layups. On the other side of the court, neither Pardon nor Benson could impose themselves and have a large impact.

3. Northwestern is good…at defense. All the talk over the last few weeks has been about how bad the Cats have been on offensive. And that has been warranted. But the atrociousness of the offense has overshadowed how well NU’s defense has been playing. Heading into the game, the Cats had held three of their last four opponents to exactly 59 points. That is a sign of excellent defensive effort. The first half also saw an excellent defensive performance, although it slipped in the second half sightly. This season is looking more and more like a lost year, but one cannot say it is a result of the defensive effort.

Email: peterwarren2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @thepeterwarren

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