January 4, 2014

Defense will be the calling card

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It happened again, like it seeming does every game.

The Ohio State men's basketball team was playing in a close contest, and then it wasn't. And it's all-well, mostly, anyway-due to the Buckeyes defense.

Nebraska was playing No. 3 Ohio State closely Saturday afternoon in Columbus, trading buckets for most of the first half. Then the Buckeyes turned up the defensive pressure, and ran away with a 84-53 victory against the Huskers, as Thad Matta's squad improved its undefeated record to 15-0.

Leading by six points with less than a minute to go in the first half, junior guard Shannon Scott stole the ball from Nebraska sharpshooter Ray Gallegos. Scott sped up the court, missed a layup, but sophomore guard Amedeo Della Valle tipped in his teammate's miss. On Nebraska's next possession, junior forward Trey McDonald blocked a Husker jumper. Junior forward Sam Thompson blocked Nebraska's next shot, grabbed the rebound, was fouled, and made both of his free throws.

A two-possession game quickly turned into a 10-point lead for the Buckeyes, thanks to a steal and two blocks. Like the steal at the end of the first half in the Maryland game by Aaron Craft, and the turnover forcing press in the final minute of the Notre Dame contest, it was plays made by Ohio State's defense that led to a victory in the Buckeyes second Big Ten game of the season.


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