Liddell paces No. 21 Ohio State past No. 22 Wisconsin 73-55
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — E.J. Liddell scored 28 points and No. 21 Ohio State shot 50% to defeat No. 22 Wisconsin 73-55 on Saturday.
The Buckeyes (8-2) outscored the Badgers by 13 points in the second half, running away with the game after leading by five points at halftime.
“We wanted it more today, I feel like,” Liddell said.
Zed Key finished with 11 points and Meechie Johnson Jr. scored eight, including a pair of 3-pointers in the second half. Kyle Young hauled in a career-high 14 rebounds.
Johnny Davis led the Badgers with 24 points and Brad Davison added 13. The loss halted Wisconsin (8-2) at six consecutive victories as it produced a season-low scoring output.
Ohio State outmatched Wisconsin on the glass, grabbing a season-high 49 rebounds to the Badgers’ 28.
The Badgers led by as many as eight points in the first half, but a 12-point run midway through the half helped Ohio State regain the lead for good with 8:26 left. The Buckeyes shot 58% in the first half.
“I thought we got a little out of sync in the middle part of the first half,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “They got rolling a little bit and we were never able to get back into a rhythm offensively like we had been in.”
The win improved Ohio State’s home record to a 7-0 and marked the first time the Buckeyes defeated Wisconsin in Columbus since the 2016-17 season. The Buckeyes extended their winning streak to four games.
BREAKING DOWN THE DEFENSE
Wisconsin entered the game with the top-ranked defense in the Big Ten Conference, limiting opponents to 59.1 points per game.
The Badgers allowed more than 70 points for just the second time this season, as the Buckeyes averaged 1.05 points per possession.
“I thought early we were really soft with the ball,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “We rounded into form and played with more force offensively.”
LIDDELL FLASHING CONSISTENCY
Liddell reached double figures again, doing so in all 10 games this season.
His 11 field goals were a career high, and he shot over 50% for the eighth time this season. Liddell had a stretch where he scored seven straight points for the Buckeyes in the second half.
“When we run our stuff, I feel like we’re the best team in the nation easily,” he said.
The Badgers shot 34% from the field, allowing Ohio State opportunities to snatch rebounds on missed shots.
The Buckeyes crashed the glass for 41 defensive rebounds, leading Wisconsin to score only two points on second-chance opportunities.
“It was a major point of emphasis,” Holtmann said.
Wisconsin: Shooting woes plagued the Badgers for the second straight game. Wisconsin wasn’t so fortunate in this one after defeating Indiana on Wednesday on 35.5% shooting.
Ohio State: Turnovers remained an issue for the Buckeyes. They allowed 14 giveaways to Wisconsin, including 10 in the first half.
“When we do the simple things and take care of the ball, I feel like we get a great shot every time,” Liddell said.
Wisconsin: Hosts Nicholls State on Wednesday.
Ohio State: Faces No. 10 Kentucky in Las Vegas on Dec. 18.
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