B1G Ten Men’s Tournament Underway/Ohio State/Minnesota Move on

Ohio State 65 Wisconsin 57

Minnesota 78 Nebraska 75

written by: Shawn Martin/Excel H Sports


Ohio State played relaxed and confident through the first 30 minutes of the opening game of the B1G Tournament in Chicago’s United Center against Wisconsin. With 16:17 left in the game, the Buckeyes went up 43-20 and were rolling. Later, after a large Badger run, star Chuckie Hepburn hit a running layup with 52 seconds left to cut the margin to four, 61-57.

Ohio State would close out the contest at the free throw line and record a 65-57 win.

In game 2, Minnesota became the first #14 seed since 2018 to win a game in the B1G Tournament with their 78-75 win over 11 seed Nebraska.

The Buckeyes are very young this season – they start three talented freshmen – and struggled mightily during the B1G regular season, going 5-15 in conference, resulting in the #13 seed in the tournament.

However, they played better the last couple of weeks of the season and entered the tournament winning two of their final three games. They led at the first media timeout 9-4 then stretched the lead to 16-7 four minutes later at the next break. Shortly after, they led by ten, 22-12, then went on ten to four run forcing Wisconsin Coach Greg Gard to call timeout down 32-16. Buckeyes would lead 36-18 at halftime.

Wisconsin shot a frigid 34.4% from the field for the game (21-61). Included in that was a 4-22 showing from beyond the three-point arc. They even struggled from the free throw line at 61% for the game. It was not a good shooting night for the Badgers.

Conversely, Ohio State hit on 52% of their shots (23-44), six of thirteen from three-point range, and managed 13-20 from the charity stripe (65%) to win the game.

The main cog in that good shooting by Ohio State was graduate player Sean McNeil, a 6-4 reserve guard from Union Kentucky, who blistered the nets of the Chicago Bulls home court like former Bull and current Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg did in the Windy City twenty years ago. McNeil hit on six of his eight shot attempts – exactly half of each from beyond the arc – which along with two free throws – gave him a team leading 17 points. Honolulu native Justice Sueing, a 6-6 redshirt senior added 16 and freshman Bruce Thorton had 15. Tyler Wahl led the Badgers with 19 and Connor Essegian contributed 11, including a banked in three from the left wing that cut the deficit to five with 2:15 left in the game.

Ohio State (14-18) advances to play 5 seed Iowa (19-12) at 2:30 pm Eastern. Wisconsin is 17-14 and awaits their fate with a possible NIT bid.

In the nightcap, the Golden Gophers led essentially from start to finish in a close, competitive game throughout. Minnesota entered the game 8-21 and a dismal 2-17 in the B1G. They put all that in the rear view mirror and played extremely well as a team, and then hitting their free throws down the stretch to beat the Cornhuskers.

Minnesota hit 27 of their 52 field goal attempts (almost 52%). On 25 of those 27 makes the Golden Gophers recorded an assist. They just literally picked the Nebraska defense apart all game long.

Minnesota hit on 10 of their 24 three-point attempts and 70% of their charity tosses (14-20). They also out rebounded the Cornhuskers 39-33. The only negative for them was 14 turnovers.

Nebraska on the other hand struggled shooting the basketball. They hit 27 of 62 field goals (43.5%) including a cool 6-19 from deep (31.6%).

Each team placed four in double figures.

Minnesota was led by sophomore Dawson Garcia. The 6-11 native of Savage, Minnesota had 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists. 6-4 junior Tallon Cooper had 16 points and 12 assists and hit six of eight free throws down the stretch to keep Nebraska behind. Jaden Henley had 14 and Jamison Battle added 13.

Nebraska got a game high 23 from Japanese native Keisei Tominaga. Sam Griesel had a Double-Double 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Jamarques Lawrence and Derrick Walker had a dozen each.

Minnesota (9-21) advances to play 6 seed Maryland (20-11) at 8:00pm. Nebraska likely finishes at 16-16 and will head to the N.I.T.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply