Buckeyes Headed to Nebraska to Face Cornhuskers

Jan. 19, 2014

Shannon Scott is tied for the No. 2 spot in steals among Big Ten players.
Shannon Scott is tied for the No. 2 spot in steals among Big Ten players.
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No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes (15-3, 2-3) at the Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-8, 0-4)

Date: Jan. 20, 2014
Site: Pinnacle Bank Arena (14,970)
Game Time: 7:01 p.m. ET
Television: BTN
Talent: Dave Revsine (play-by-play)
Jim Jackson (expert analysis)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 92/XM 191
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

Vote Thad Matta
Thad Mattais one of 48 Division I coaches participating in the third annual Coaches' Charity Challenge, a fan-vote contest, with the total contributions exceeding $300,000. Matta won the challenge in 2012 and 2013, earning $100,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. He is once again supporting RMHC. This year, the challenge will run for 10 weeks in a tournament-style contest. For the next three weeks, fans can vote once a day at VoteCoachMatta.com to help Matta advance to the round of 24. Votes will not carry over to the next round.

Craft Finalist for 2014 Collegiate Wooden Cup
Senior Aaron Craftis a finalist for the 2014 Collegiate Wooden Cup, given annually to a collegiate and a professional athlete who have made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others. Craft is one of five collegiate finalists for the award, which will be presented April 22 in Atlanta. A champion on the court, Craft also finds time to work with others in the Columbus community and abroad. He traveled to Haiti last summer on a mission trip, has volunteered at a local food bank and provided support to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

Back-to-Back Losses Rare for Matta
Since taking over the Buckeyes for the start of the 2004-05 season, Thad Matta'sBuckeyes have suffered back-to-back losses just 20 times while rebounding to claim victory 55 times following a loss. Since the end of the 2008-09 season, Ohio State has suffered consecutive losses four times, while earning 25 victories. The Buckeyes have suffered consecutive losses just three times in the last four years, once last season when Ohio State lost in overtime at No. 3 Michigan (76-74) Feb. 5, 2013 and then at home to No. 1 Indiana 81-68 Feb. 10 and the most recent three-game skid.

The Nebraska Series
Ohio State leads the all-time series against the Cornhuskers 10-2. Ohio State is 3-1 in Lincoln. Thad Matta is 6-0 overall vs. the Cornhuskers since taking over the Ohio State program in 2004-05. Ohio State has won the last nine games in the series. The Buckeyes enter the game No. 11 nationally. Ohio State is 7-0 when ranked in the Nebraska series. Senior Lenzelle Smith Jr. leads the Ohio State veterans in scoring in the Nebraska series. He contributes 8.7 points a game. Classmate Aaron Craft is next at 6.8 ppg. Freshman Marc Lovingscored 17 points in his first game vs. the Cornhuskers earlier this year in Columbus.

A Look at the Cornhuskers
Nebraska is 8-8 overall and 0-4 in Big Ten Conference play entering the game with the Buckeyes. The Cornhuskers are led by Terran Petteway with 17.3 points per game. Shavon Shields is next with 10.9 ppg. Leslee Smith is the squad`s top rebounder with 6.3 a game. Nebraska began play in the Pinnacle Bank Arena this season but has played just once at home in Big Ten Conference play prior to hosting the Buckeyes. The Cornhuskers fell at Iowa (67-57) and at Ohio State (84-53) before a home lost to Michigan 71-70. Nebraska last played Jan. 12 at Purdue, a 70-64 loss to the Boilermakers.

Ohio State vs. The Big Ten
Ohio State is in its 102nd season as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Buckeyes own an overall record of 757-676 against current league members. Thad Matta, in 14 seasons as a head coach, owns an overall record of 135-55 vs. league members, including a mark of 132-53 while coaching the Buckeyes.

Matta Extends Streak vs. Non-Conference Foes
Thad Mattahas directed Ohio State to at least 10 wins during non-conference play in each of his 10 seasons in Columbus. Matta is 133-23 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State and 132-53 vs. Big Ten foes (regular season and Big Ten tournament games) for an overall record of 265-76. In 14 seasons as a head coach (1 at Butler, 3 at Xavier and 10 at Ohio State) Matta is 135-55 vs. the Big Ten. He has winning records vs. nine league teams (ILL (12-5), IND (11-7), IOWA (11-5), MICH (17-4), MINN (10-6), NW (15-1), PSU (17-0), PUR (15-6) and NEB (6-0). Matta is 11-11 vs. Wisconsin and 10-10 vs. Michigan State.

Defense Clicking for Buckeyes
Ohio State did not allow an opponent to reach 70 points this season over the first 15 games before No. 5 Michigan State reached 72 in an overtime win Jan. 7. Ohio scored 69 points in a 79-69 loss to the Buckeyes Nov. 12 and Purdue fell 78-69 to Ohio State Dec. 31 in West Lafayette. The 15-game streak to start the season without an opponent scoring 70 or more points was the longest for Ohio State since a 22-game streak during the 2010-11 season from Nov. 20, 2010 to Feb. 6, 2011. The Buckeyes were 22-0 over that streak. Ohio State has held 10 of the last 13 Big Ten opponents under 70 points dating back to Feb. 20, 2013. In nine of those games, the opponent was held to 60 or fewer points. No. 4 Michigan State scored 60 in a 68-60 loss to the No. 18 Buckeyes in Columbus Feb. 24, 2013. The first, all-time, team to score 70 points in a game vs. the Buckeyes was New York University in an overtime NCAA tournament game March 25, 1945. Ohio State lost in the Final Four 70-65 at Madison Square Garden. Marquette was the first team to score 70 points vs. Ohio State in a regular-season game. The Golden Eagles fell to Ohio State in Milwaukee 83-70 Dec. 13, 1947. The first team to score 70 against the Buckeyes in Columbus was DePaul, who defeated the Buckeyes 70-68 Dec. 3, 1949 in the season opener. Since the 1949-50 season, Ohio State's longest streak of holding opponents under 70 points is 32 games from Dec. 5, 1949 to Dec. 30, 1950. Thad Mattateams have three of the top four longest streaks in Ohio State history holding opponents under 70 points. The 15-game streak this season of not allowing an opponent to reach 70 points this season (15-0) is the fourth longest all-time in Ohio State history.

Buckeyes Among National Stat Leaders
After 18 games, Ohio State ranks No. 3 nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.266), No. 7 in scoring defense (57.9 ppg.), No. 9 in fewest fouls per game (15.8) and No. 12 in scoring margin (15.9 ppg.). Aaron Craft is No. 9 nationally in total steals (43). Shannon Scottis No. 24 (39).

Noting the Minnesota Game

  • Ohio State leads the all-time series against the Gophers 80-56. Minnesota owns a 38-30 edge in Minneapolis.
  • As a ranked team, the Buckeyes are 26-4 against Minnesota.
  • The loss snapped a six-game Ohio State win streak vs. the Gophers.
  • The Buckeyes own an overall record of 757-676 against current Big Ten members.
  • Minnesota broke OSU's streak of 41-consecutive wins against unranked opponents in the regular season. The Buckeyes' last loss to an unranked team in the regular season was Jan. 10, 2012 to Big Ten foe Illinois.
  • The Buckeyes have not recorded three-consecutive losses since the 2008-09 campaign when the squad fell to Wisconsin, Northwestern and Illinois.
  • As a ranked team, No. 11 Ohio State is 470-127 all-time.
  • Ohio State held Minnesota to season-lows in made 3-pointers (3) and 3-point field goal percentage (21.4 percent; 3-14). Opponents are shooting 26.6 percent (79-297) from long distance against the Buckeyes this season.
  • The game marks the first time Ohio State has recorded back-to-back double figure losses since the 2008-09 season (at Illinois, vs. Michigan State).
  • Thad Matta is 265-76 during his career at Ohio State and 367-107 overall as a head coach.
  • In 13 seasons as a head coach, Matta owns an overall record of 135-55 vs. Big Ten members, including a mark of 132-53 while coaching the Buckeyes. Matta is 10-6 against Minnesota as OSU head coach.
  • Against unranked opponents, Matta owns a 219-23 record as Ohio State head coach.
  • Matta is 54-25 in the month of January as OSU head coach.
  • Sam Thompson scored 12 points vs. Minnesota. With the total, Thompson surpassed the 500-point mark for his Buckeye career (509).
  • LaQuinton Ross led all scorers with 22 points.
  • Ross has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 13 games.
  • Aaron Craft had four assists vs. the Gophers. He is Ohio State's all-time assist leader with 620 for his career. Craft ranks eighth all-time in Big Ten history. He needs 26 assists to pass Scott Skiles (645) of Michigan State for seventh.
  • Craft scored seven points. He ranks 38th all-time at Ohio State with 1,134 career points. Craft passed Richard Schnittker (1,129) during the matchup with Minnesota. He needs six points to pass Jamaal Brown (1,139) for 37th all-time.

For more on the Buckeyes click on the Ohio State Noteslink above.