Marquette-Ohio St. Preview
Marquette will get a chance to avenge the loss in a similar situation Tuesday night in Columbus.
No. 20 Ohio State has 54 straight wins over unranked non-conference opponents in regular-season play with the last such loss coming 76-48 against West Virginia on Dec. 27, 2008. Three of the four teams to pull off the feat in Columbus over the last 16 seasons - a 130-4 home stretch - were from the Big East.
Last season's meeting could be weighing on some of Marquette's returning players. The Buckeyes won 52-35 in Milwaukee on Nov. 16, limiting the Golden Eagles to 18.9 percent shooting - one of the worst marks in program history - and their lowest point total since a 55-35 loss to DePaul on Feb. 16, 2000.
It was the schools' first meeting since 1994 and snapped Marquette's 27-game home winning streak, which was at the time the second-longest run in the country.
That game was only the second-best defensive effort the Buckeyes turned in last season as they held Louisiana-Monroe to 18.5 percent in a 71-31 win Dec. 27.
Ohio State didn't get off to quite that kind of start defensively in Friday's 92-55 home win over Massachusetts-Lowell in the season opener, rather excelling offensively with a 61.7 percent shooting night.
Russell was joined in the backcourt by senior Shannon Scott, who took over for graduated point guard Aaron Craft and had a career-best 11 assists to go with nine points.
"We've got a good group of guys that can fill it up any night," Russell said. "With the newcomers, I don't think anybody was nervous. We're past that stage. So it's just stepping up and getting the job done."
Senior forward Sam Thompson scored 14 and was impressed with his new teammates.
"The newcomers did a great job," said the third-year starter. "We wanted to play fast, we wanted to have our defense translate into some offense, we wanted to get some easy buckets - and we did a good job of doing that."
Ohio State is seeking its 11th straight 2-0 start, while Marquette is after its eighth.
The Golden Eagles and first-year coach Steve Wojciechowski got off to a positive start in Friday's 79-63 home win over Tennessee-Martin as they look for new leaders to emerge. They're without their top four scorers from a season ago and lost 71.9 percent of their scoring.
"We're short-handed, but our guys fought and I thought they played really hard and played well together," Wojciechowski said. "I'm glad it was with this group."
Marquette was outrebounded 34-25, which could be an ongoing issue for a team without anyone over 6-foot-7.
"We're going to be a team that has to rebound as a group because we don't have great size," Wojciechowski said. "If we can pressure the ball and then finish possessions with a defensive board, I think we can even get better than we were tonight on the defensive end."
Ohio State started four players between 6-5 and 6-11 and outrebounded Massachusetts-Lowell 35-24.
Marquette has lost six in a row against ranked opponents.