Rapid Recap: No. 13 Ohio State 95, Northwestern 87


Tyler Keim/The Daily Northwestern

Chase Audige attempts a corner three. The Wildcat dropped 20 points, a season high, in Northwestern’s 95-87 defeat to Ohio State.

Lawrence Price, Assistant Sports Editor

In the team’s last two matchups, Ohio State’s leading scorer EJ Liddell struggled to find his groove, shooting 2 for 14 and 3 for 12 respectively from the field.

However, Northwestern (8-5, 1-3 Big Ten) couldn’t bottle up the forward and the Buckeyes for another game, dropping the contest 95-87 behind Liddel’s 34-point bomb.

The Wildcats were without junior guard Boo Buie for the majority of the first half, as the floor general picked up two quick fouls less than four minutes into the game. This allowed Ohio State’s offense to find its rhythm, knocking down eight of its first nine shots.

A large source of the team’s success came from Liddell, who scored 17 of the Buckeyes’ first 19 points. Led by his dominance, the team continued to thrive throughout the first half, shooting over 65 percent from the field and 55 from behind the arc. Liddel (21) was joined by his teammate Malaki Branham (13) as the only two players on both teams with double-digits entering the break.

Although at one point down by 15, the Cats continually chipped away at the lead. Similar to Liddell’s takeover in the first 20 minutes, it was all sophomore guard Ty Berry in the second. The Wildcat accounted for four of the team’s first seven makes coming out of the break, pushing the opposing team’s lead down to six points.

Ohio State would go on to push its lead back up to nine, before coach Chris Collins called timeout. However, this break-in-play couldn’t jumpstart NU’s offense, allowing the Buckeyes to build on and maintain its second half lead. 

The Cats were unable to catch fire for the rest of the second half period, only able to knock OSU’s lead down to seven points, losing its third straight game and Big Ten matchup.


  • Defensive lapses obscure offensive success

Entering today’s contest, Northwestern ranked second in the Big Ten in both opposing team points per game (62.5) and opposing team’s field goal percentage (37.5). However, the team’s sound defense hasn’t risen to the occasion in its last two losing contests versus Penn State (46%) and now, Ohio State (56.9). Although NU has done well offensively in both contests, shooting 46% from three against PSU and 42% versus the Buckeyes, the group’s lackluster performance on the other end has outweighed these electric outings.

  • Northwestern offense needs Boo Buie on the court

For any team, the point guard position is any important piece to puzzle when it comes to a team’s offensive success. This statement holds for Northwestern, as Boo Buie stands as the team’s second leading scorer, most played minutes and second-most three pointers. Without the guard on the floor early in the first half, the team struggled to compete with OSU’s on-fire offense. If the Cats’ want to put themselves in the best position to win, Buie needs to be on the court as much as possible.

  • Chase Audige possibly getting back into the swing of things

Redshirt junior guard Chase Audige was named the No.18 best player in the conference by Big Ten Network’s Andy Katz heading into the 2021-22 campaign. However, the team’s leading scorer from a year ago has been dealing with an injury all season, hindering his ability to play at 100 percent and causing him only to suit up for five of NU’s contests this year. Today, though, Audige seemed to be closer to his old ways, dropping 20 points and four rebounds. With the team diving deeper into its Big Ten schedule, the bucket-getter’s impact will be of the utmost importance down the stretch.

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