12:00 PM ET, February 1, 2014
Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin
Craft Helps Ohio State Slip Past Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. -- With his fist against his forehead, guard Ben Brust walked off the floor. His sullen look said it all.
No. 14 Wisconsin is free-falling down the Big Ten standings, and not even a game in Kohl Center can help.
Freshman Nigel Hayes had 17 points off the bench, but the Badgers missed a 3 at the buzzer and wasted opportunities at the line in a 59-58 loss to No. 24 Ohio State.
The Badgers had their fifth loss in six games after a school-record 16-0 start. They've lost three straight games at home for the first time since 1997-98.
"We've got to change something," said Brust (13 points, seven rebounds). "We can't sulk. We've got to move on."
The Buckeyes nearly let it slip away. They were already steamed after an overtime loss in Columbus earlier in the week to Penn State.
Lenzelle Smith Jr., got the ball in transition after Traevon Jackson missed a foul shot, but was accidentally bumped to the floor by teammate Amir Williams after getting his own offensive rebound. Turnover Ohio State.
"You wouldn't expect anything less with what we've gone through this year, right? That's kind of how our year has gone," Craft said.
The Badgers (17-5, 4-5) tried to set up for Jackson, who's had his moments hitting game-winning shots. Ohio State was prepared, and Wisconsin settled for a decent second option in Sam Dekker before he missed the 3.
The Badgers had plenty of other chances to win but went just 5 of 10 from the foul line late, and went without a field goal in the final 6-plus minutes.
"In this league against good teams you have to play the full 40 minutes. Every possession." said guard Josh Gasser (seven points, six rebounds). "Sometimes you just have to make a play or two ... They just made one more than we did."
Craft didn't hit his first basket until 3:57 left, but it was 3 that helped his team finish on an 11-4 run.
Another tight loss averted. Like Wisconsin, Ohio State was struggling coming into Saturday after losing five of six following a 15-0 start.
Coach Thad Matta was looking for more physical toughness from his team after an overtime loss at home earlier in the week to Penn State.
"I thought we had better composure. I thought we had a better pace about us," Matta said.
The Buckeyes didn't take the lead for good until Williams went 1 of 2 from the line with 54 seconds left for a 58-57 lead.
Both teams struggled with foul shooting, though it hurt Wisconsin more in the end.
The loss wasted an electrifying performance by Hayes in the second half, who turned into his team's best scoring option in the frontcourt. He finished 6 of 7 from the field but still has to work on foul shooting after going 5 of 11 from the line.
The offense is struggling for key stretches after playing so well earlier this season. Dekker finished with four points on 2-of 6-shooting. Frank Kaminsky had eight points and went 1 of 6 from the field but 6 of 6 from the line.
"You control what you can control. And, obviously, we didn't do that from the offensive end," coach Bo Ryan said. "You're not going to re-invent the game of basketball, but guys have to be able to step up and hit shots."
Things looked good early for the Badgers, who attacked the basket even with leading scorer Dekker in foul trouble in the first half.
The last play epitomized Wisconsin's successful formula. Jackson missed a layup, but Kaminsky swooped in for a one-handed offensive rebound and in the same motion tipped the ball to Brust. The guard converted for quick basket and a 33-29 Wisconsin lead at the break.
MADISON, WI - FEBRUARY 01: Head Coach Bo Ryan of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates on the sideline during the first...(Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||21-49 (.429)||18-45 (.400)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-9 (.556)||3-17 (.176)|
|FT Made-Attempted||12-18 (.667)||19-29 (.655)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||23 (0/0)||14 (0/0)|
|» Feb 1, 2014||OSU 59, @WIS 58||Recap|
Next 5 Games
Big Ten Conference Standings
This is Wisconsin's first ever 3-game home losing streak uner Bo Ryan. Wisconsin has lost 3 home conference games this season against teams it had traditionally dominated at home under Ryan.[+]
Wisconsin At Home Under Bo Ryan
The Wisconsin Badgers opened this season 16-0, the best start in program history. However, after Saturday's loss to Ohio State, the Badgers have now dropped five of their last six contests since that school-record start.[+]
Meltdown In Madison - Wisconsin This Season
Ohio State is 13-0 when holding opponents to less than 45.0% shooting from the field and 3-5 when it does not.
Ohio State allows the fewest points per game and points per 100 possessions in the Big Ten.[+]
Ohio State Defense
Wisconsin turns the ball over on 13% of its possessions, lowest in the Big Ten and third lowest in the nation. Ohio State forces a turnover on 23% of opponents' possessions, best in the Big Ten and tied for 13th in the nation.
Wisconsin ranks at or near the bottom of the Big Ten in points in the paint, second-chance points, points off turnovers, and transition points per game.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information