Hoops Preview: Buckeyes Host Northwestern For Sunday Tilt

The No. 13 Buckeyes (9-3, 3-1) host Northwestern (8-4, 1-2) Sunday for a 5:30 pm tip off. Ohio State is looking to straighten up a bit after a 67-51 loss at Indiana on Thursday. The Wildcats last played on Wednesday, which was 74-70 home loss to Penn State. That loss came three days after a 73-67 loss at home to No. 10 Michigan State. Ohio State will be without head coach Chris Holtmann and assistant coach Ryan Pedon due to health and safety protocols. Assistant Jake Diebler will serve as acting head coach.

Opening Tip

Who: Northwestern at Ohio State
What: Men’s Basketball
Where: Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
When: Sunday 5:30 pm, BTN
Why: Because eventually EJ Liddell’s gonna start going off again.
Line: Ohio State -7.5, O/U 140.5

The Buckeyes​

Buckeye Game Notes​

  • The Buckeyes are coming off a 67-51 setback at Indiana on Thursday night, which was their first loss in 43 days. OSU enters the game at 9-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play. Sunday’s contest will also be the first game at home for the Buckeyes since beating No. 22 Wisconsin on Dec. 11, a span of 29 days.
  • Freshman Malaki Branham has led the team in scoring each of the last two games. He scored a season-high 35 points in the win at Nebraska on 6-of-10 from long range. That earned him Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors. He then scored a team-high 13 points in the win at Indiana. Those two games were two of his three games this season in double-figures.
  • E.J. Liddell has scored in double-figures in all 12 games this season and has scored in double-figures in the last 23 games dating back to Feb. 8 of last season. He is fifth in the conference in scoring at 18.9 ppg and in the Top 15 nationally at 3.0 blocks per game.

The Northwestern Wildcats

What You Need To Know​

  • Northwestern enters the game at 8-4 overall and 1-2 in the conference. The Wildcats beat Maryland in their lone Big Ten game in December but has lost their last two contests to Michigan State and Penn State. Pete Nance leads the team in scoring and rebounding at 15.9 ppg and 7.3 rpg.
  • Ohio State has dominated the all-time series with Northwestern 121-48. The Buckeyes are 70-15 vs. the Wildcats in Columbus, including 14-1 in Value City Arena. The teams have split the last four meetings, including the two games last season as each team won on its home floor. Prior to that, the Buckeyes won 31 of 33 meetings dating back to 1999.
  • In the Wildcats’ last time out on Wednesday, a late second half rally from Penn State propelled the Nittany Lions to a 74-70 win over NU at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Boo Buie (22 pts) and Pete Nance (15 pts) led the Wildcat offense, with both setting new season highs in made three point field goals. Buie finished with a game-high eight assists against Penn State, one shy of his career high set vs. New Orleans earlier this season and tied for the most in Buie’s career vs. a Big Ten opponent (also had eight at Iowa on Dec. 29, 2020). Buie currently leads the Big Ten with an average of 5.8 assists per game to go along with 15.2 points per game (16th in the conference), making him one of just 15 players in the nation and the only player in the Big Ten to be averaging 15+ points and 5+ assists per game.
  • In the Wildcat frontcourt, Ryan Young is one of four NU players averaging double figures this season, currently averaging 10.0 points per game coming off the bench.Young has been consistently getting to the free-throw line for the Wildcats, leading the team with 36 made free-throws and 47 attempts, while ranking 11th in the nation with 7.2 fouls drawn per 40 minutes, per KenPom.