After leading almost the entire second half, the Ohio State Buckeyes lost a brutal game at the horn to the Northwestern Wildcats, 71-70.
Down by one point, Duane Washington Jr. had a chance to win the game with only a few seconds remaining. The Buckeyes had the ball and drew up a sideline out-of-bounds play, designed for Washington to roll to the right side of the rim. He got his look off cleanly, but his layup didn't drop for the Buckeyes and Northwestern grabbed the rebound away and drew a foul.
Boo Buie missed the ensuing foul shot for the Wildcats, E.J. Liddell grabbed the rebound and took a half court shot to try and win the game, but it came up short. The Buckeyes lost for just the second time in nine games to start the season, but they fall to 1-2 in Big Ten play.
Northwestern is 3-0 in league play for the first time since 1968 and they have consecutive conference wins over Michigan State, Indiana and now Ohio State.
The Buckeyes got into the bonus in the second half with just less than 12 minutes remaining, but only shot a couple of 1-and-1 free throws the rest of the day. That was one of the frustrating points for a team that has been pretty good from the charity line this year.
After a first half that featured eight Ohio State turnovers (which turned into 16 of Northwestern's 34 points), Chris Holtmann's team took significantly better care of the ball in the second half. In fact, the Buckeyes first turnover of the entire second half came with 5:20 to play when E.J. Liddell was called for traveling. They only gave it away twice after halftime.
Liddell led Ohio State with 15 points on 6-of-11 from the floor. Kyle Young added 14 points on 5-of-9. The two combined for 16 rebounds and were a huge reason why the Buckeyes out-rebounded Northwestern, 40-26.
On the downside, Washington hit just 1-of-9 shooting and 1-of-6 from 3-point range. Justice Sueing scored only three times for six points.
While they played well in the paint, the 3-point woes continued for the Scarlet and Gray. Ohio State hit only 4-for-20 for the game, including 1-of-12 in the second half. Three of those 3-balls came from Seth Towns in the first half, while he had his best game as a Buckeye. Towns scored all 11 of his points in the first half.
The Buckeyes shooting woes were most frustrating in the second half when they had several chances to put the Wildcats away. Ohio State never led by more than eight points, but they played with the lead for nearly 18 minutes in the second half.
Miller Kopp led Northwestern with 23 points, but he was the only Wildcat that had a huge day offensively. Reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Boo Buie finished with 14 points and Northeast Ohio native Pete Nance cashed in 10.
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