Ohio State is looking for answers, and a victory, when the struggling Buckeyes play Nebraska on Wednesday in Lincoln, Neb.
A ranked team in December, the Buckeyes (10-7, 2-4 Big Ten) have lost four straight since beating Northwestern on Jan. 1.
“Like anything, it tests the character of your group and the resilience of your group,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “We’ll see how we respond. Obviously, it’s a significant remainder of the Big Ten season to go, there’s a lot in front of us. I think your leadership, your resilience, the tough-mindedness of your group gets tested.”
Nebraska (9-9, 2-5) has lost two straight but coach Fred Hoiberg is hoping a somewhat healthier lineup can halt the losing streak.
His second- and fourth-leading scorers — Sam Griesel (hip) and Juwan Gary (shoulder) — did not play in the 73-55 loss at No. 3 Purdue on Friday.
“Sam went through about half a practice today and felt pretty good,” Hoiberg said Monday on his radio show.
He was optimistic that Griesel (11.1 points per game) would be available for the game. That’s not the case with Gary (9.5).
“He’s going to be out for a while, unfortunately,” Hoiberg said.
The Cornhuskers know they will be facing a desperate opponent that lost 68-64 in overtime at Rutgers on Sunday.
“Ohio State’s losses have been in overtime or one possession and we know they’re going to come in hungry on Wednesday night,” Hoiberg said. “So it’s going to be physical. It’s going to be a battle but you know, I think our guys will respond.”
In addition to the setback to Rutgers, the other three losses during the Buckeyes’ skid have been by two points to Purdue, seven against Maryland and three points vs. Minnesota.
“The losses, obviously it’s going to hurt because everyone in that locker room is not a loser,” Ohio State forward Justice Sueing said. “Everyone in there, they’re trying to get the job done the best that they can.”
Freshman Brice Sensabaugh leads Ohio State with 16.9 points per game, along with 5.4 rebounds.
–Field Level Media