Friday night, Oral Roberts kicked Ohio State out of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, sending the Buckeyes home after defeating them by 75-72 score.
Ohio State played from behind for nearly 25 minutes and tried their very best to score effectively, but ultimately, it was all in vain. Here are a few details of their defeat that will follow the Buckeyes into next season.
Negligence of Coaching team
Oral Roberts performed as a duo. Kevin Obanor and Max Abmas were the lead players. They were the conduits for everyone. OSU practically allowed both of the players to score 59 points in a game where the rest of the players were able to hit only six or less than six scores. At this point, the coaching team failed miserably. When following a defensive game plan, they let two people run the show. The pressure got real and Ohio State was dependent on them.
The lack of self-control leads Ohio State towards a losing streak of four games. Ohio State tried their level best during the game, but Musa Jallow and E.J. Liddell’s free throw and Duane Washington Jr.’s folater gave them dominance of 64-60. With the Golden Eagles under pressure, Ohio State remained scoreless. These fouls lead to the game tie and the game was sent to extra-time.
Instead of allowing Liddell, who ended with 23 points, 5 assist, and 14, the team settled for threes and completed for mid-range jump shots. It was simply a lack of stability.
The percentage performance of Ohio State free-throw shots was 76.3% in the regular season but there it started declining. In the NCAA tournament, Ohio State had only made less than 70% of its free throw shots eight times. However, four of them occurred in the previous six games.
As Ohio State shot just 57.1% in the Big Ten semifinal, Michigan came back to win. Ohio lost nine out 18 tries on Friday. In the second half of the game, Liddell and Jallow both went one of two on visits, and Washington missed two times in extra time.
“We’ve got a really good free-throw shooting team. We just missed some critical ones.” Head Coach Chris Holtmann said.