William Buford scored 15 points, Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas scored 14 each and three others (Craft, Sibert and Ravenel) scored seven as the Buckeyes handed Nebraska their worst loss of the season. The 34 point margin of victory was bigger than the previous season-worst for Nebraska -- a 31 point beat down they also suffered at the hands of the Buckeyes just two and a half weeks ago in Columbus.
But for Thad Matta, he didn’t see it as a blowout -- he saw it as progress, "I see this team growing inch by inch, week by week. We've got to continue to hammer 'em.,” Matta said. “We had three great practices leading into this game. They were talking on the bench about what can happen if we keep practicing like that. Hopefully, we can continue that."
For Nebraska forward Brandon Ubel, he was embarrassed by his teams turnover-plagued performance, "I don't think we could have played any worse. I don't think I've ever been on a team that's turned it over 27 times,” Ubel said. “You play that bad, with that many turnovers against a team like Ohio State, they're going to make you pay, and that's what happened."
Ohio State turned Nebraska’s 27 turnovers into 22 points as the Buckeyes shot 44% from the field. Slumping William Buford seems to be righting the ship after a rough stretch of games -- shooting 44% from the field and scoring a combined 27 points in victories over Indiana and Nebraska.
Buford talked about the adjustments he’s making to get out of his slump, “I didn’t think tonight, I just came out and played,” Buford said. “I was thinking too much about my shot. I just wanted to come out and try to play hard and have fun. I was stepping into my shot, had more legs in my shot.”
On defense, the Buckeyes were nearly flawless. In addition to forcing 27 turnovers, Nebraska shot just 29% from the field and only connected on 13 field goals (half as many as Ohio State). The Cornhuskers were held to 15 points below their season average and seemed doomed from the start, scoring only 20 points in the first half.
Matta knows this kind of defense could be played every night if the effort is there, "When we're connected and have five guys together, we have a pretty good half-court defense," Matta said.
With the 34 point win, Ohio State now leads the nation in margin of victory this season with just under 22 points per game.
The Buckeyes will host Penn State on Wednesday, January 25. The game tips-off at 6:30 and will be televised by the Big Ten Network.