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No. 6 Ohio State Cruises to 32-6 Win over Hoosiers Sunday – Ohio State

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No. 6 Ohio State Cruises to 32-6 Win over Hoosiers Sunday – Ohio State


COLUMBUS, Ohio —

No. 6 Ohio State (14-2, 6-1) cruised to a 32-6 win over visiting Indiana (6-3, 3-3) on Senior Day Sunday at the Covelli Center. 

Prior to the match, the Ohio State Department of Athletics and its wrestling program honored five seniors who have been instrumental to the success of the Buckeyes over the last several years. Gavin Hoffman, Nick Boykin and Sammy Sasso along with managers Destinee Fry  and Lily Voellm were recognized. 

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How it Happened

197-No. 22 Luke Geog (OSU) def. Gabe Sollars (IND) | D, 9-6
Sollars struck first with a takedown in the first 20 seconds. Geog got a quick escape point and a takedown for a 4-3 lead. Sollars tied it with an escape before the end of the first. Sollars added an escape early in the second before a Geog takedown made it 7-5 Buckeyes. Sollars added another escape to go to the third with Geog leading 7-6. From the bottom, Geog got a penalty point awarded for a technical violation before an escape made it 9-6 for a win by decision. 

HWT-No. 7 Nick Feldman (OSU) def. Nick Willham (IND) | MD, 12-3
Feldman got the first takedown and then a second for a 6-1 lead midway through the first. After a Willham escape, the bout went to the second with the Buckeyes leading 6-2. Feldman escaped quickly early in the middle period for a 7-2 lead after five minutes. Willham got an escape point before being called for stalling to make it 8-3 Feldman. Willham was called for stalling again before a Feldman takedown made it a win by major decision, 12-3. 

125-No. 23 Brendan McCrone (OSU) def. Blaine Frazier (IND) | MD, 14-4
The Buckeyes went up 3-0 on a McCrone takedown. McCrone added a four-point nearfall for a 7-0 lead with more than two minutes of riding time after the first period. McCrone added a reversal to start the second before a Frazier escape made it 9-1 Buckeyes headed to the third. Frazier scored a takedown early in the third before a McCrone escape made it 10-4 Ohio State. McCrone added a takedown for a win by major decision, 14-4. 

133-No. 11 Nic Bouzakis (OSU) def. Isaac Thornton (IND) | Fall, 4:03
Bouzakis led 6-1 after two early takedowns around a Thornton escape. After another takedown, Bouzakis led 9-2 after three minutes. A reversal to open the second made it 11-2 Buckeyes. Bouzakis then got the pin at 4:03 for the six team points. 
 

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141-No. 3 Jesse Mendez (OSU) def. No. 23 Dan Fongaro (IND) | MD, 19-6
A quick scramble resulted in a 3-0 lead for the Buckeyes after a Mendez takedown. Fongaro was awarded a pair of escape points around a Mendez takedown for a 6-2 OSU lead three minutes. Fongara added an escape before a Mendez takedown upped the lead to 9-3 headed to the third. Mendez added an escape point before another takedown to up the advantage to 13-3. Fongaro scored a reversal before a Mendez escape made it 14-5. Mendez added a takedown before a Fongaro escape. Mendez finished with a 19-6 win by major decision.  
 

149-No. 11 Dylan D’Emilio (OSU) def.  No. 14 Graham Rooks (IND) | D, 4-2
D’Emilio entered the second period with a 3-0 lead after a late takedown. He added an escape to open the second for a 4-0 lead after five minutes. Rooks made it 4-1 Buckeyes with a third-period escape. After Rooks was awarded a point for stalling against Ohio State, D’Emilio got the win by decision, 4-2. 
 

157-No. 19 Brayton Lee (IND) def. Isaac Wilcox (OSU) | D, 4-2
Neither wrestler put points on the board in the first period. Wilcox escaped for a 1-0 lead early in the second. Lee made it 3-2 Indiana with a takedown and another Wilcox escape. In the third, Lee escaped to earn a 4-2 win by decision. 

165-No. 19 Bryce Hepner (OSU) def. Robert Major (IND) | D, 14-6
Major scored first with a takedown. Hepner escaped and added a takedown for a 4-3 lead after the first period. Hepner added a reversal to open the second. Major escaped before a Hepner takedown made it 9-4 Buckeyes after five minutes. A Major escape before a Hepner takedown upped the lead to 12-6 Buckeyes after another Major escape. Hepner added a riding time point for a 14-6 win by major decision. 

174-No. 11 Rocco Welsh (OSU) def. Nick South (IND) | MD, 14-5
Welsh led 3-1 after the first. South escaped before a quick Welsh takedown made it 6-2 Buckeyes. South added another escape to send the bout to the third with Welsh leading 6-3. Welsh opened with an escape early in the third and then added a takedown before a South escape made it 10-4 Buckeyes. Welsh added another escape to win the match by major decision, 14-5.  

184-Roman Rogotzke (IND) def. Gavin Bell (OSU) | SV, 18-11
Bell got the early takedown for a 3-0 lead. Rogotzke scored with a reversal before Bell countered with one of his own for a 5-2 lead. Rogotzke added another reversal to send the bout to the second with Bell leading 5-4. Rogotzke tied it at 5-all with an escape to open the second. Bell went up 8-5 with a takedown and then added a two-point nearfall for a 10-5 advantage. Rogotzke escaped to make it 10-6 after five minutes. Bell got an escape point in the third before a Rogotzke takedown and two-point nearfall tied it at 11-all after three periods. With the match in sudden victory, Rogotzke to the late takedown and four-point nearfall for an 18-11 win by decision.  

Up Next:
The Buckeyes travel to Michigan State Friday for the final dual match of the season. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Big Ten Network will broadcast the match to a national audience. 

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Wt No. 6 Ohio State vs. Indiana OSU IND
197 No. 22 Luke Geog (OSU) def. Gabe Sollars (IND) | D, 9-6 3 0
HWT No. 7 Nick Feldman (OSU) def. Nick Willham (IND) | MD, 12-3 7 0
125 No. 23 Brendan McCrone (OSU) def. Blaine Frazier (IND) | MD, 14-4 11 0
133 No. 11 Nic Bouzakis (OSU) def. Isaac Thornton (IND) | Fall, 4:03 17 0
141 No. 3 Jesse Mendez (OSU) def. No. 23 Dan Fongaro (IND) | MD, 19-6 21 0
149 No. 11 Dylan D’Emilio (OSU) def.  No. 14 Graham Rooks (IND) | D, 4-2 24 0
157 No. 19 Brayton Lee (IND) def. Isaac Wilcox (OSU) | D, 4-2 24 3
165 No. 19 Bryce Hepner (OSU) def. Robert Major (IND) | D, 14-6 28 3
174 174-No. 11 Rocco Welsh (OSU) def. Nick South (IND) | MD, 14-5 32 3
184 184-Roman Rogotzke (IND) def. Gavin Bell (OSU) | SV, 18-11 32 6
Attendance: 4,439

 

#GoBucks





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Nebraska to Test Ohio State’s Improvements in Perimeter, Halfcourt Defense

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Nebraska to Test Ohio State’s Improvements in Perimeter, Halfcourt Defense


The hopes for an NCAA Tournament appearance from this year’s Ohio State team are suddenly alive again, but that’s not where Jake Diebler can allow the focus of his bunch to rest.

20 – 8

roster  |  schedule

Feb. 29, 2024 – 6:30 pm et

Value City Arena

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Columbus, OH

That’s because a Big Red-hot Nebraska team is coming to Columbus on Thursday, one that defeated the Buckeyes 83-69 in Lincoln earlier this season.

“As long as there’s a Big Ten Tournament, we’re not out of the picture,” Diebler said on Wednesday. “Our guys have done a great job in the last couple weeks of not looking too far ahead, being in the moment. But we’ve also talked about each opportunity as it’s presented itself. And, listen, tomorrow night is a huge opportunity.”

The Huskers are on a four-game winning streak and boast a 20-8 record. They’ve struggled away from Pinnacle Bank Arena with a 2-7 road mark, but took their last contest in a hostile environment at Indiana on Feb. 21.

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For its part, Ohio State is fresh off a buzzer-beater win at Michigan State on Sunday, one that saw a massive improvement in a key area for the Buckeyes – halfcourt defense. It’s the main reason why the Spartans only managed 57 points.

Maintaining those gains and its aggressive mentality will be key in tackling a Nebraska squad that shot a gaudy 14-of-26 (53.8%) from three last time out against the Buckeyes.

“We talked about yesterday, ‘They’re playing really well and they’re a really good team – and so are we,’” Diebler said. “We’re not the same team we were at that time. Now neither are they, but we need to continue to be about the stuff that we’ve been about these last couple weeks. Guarding the ball, keeping the ball in front, our ball-screen defense, all of that’s going to be really, really important. And we need to guard the three-point line. They shot it extremely well at their place against us, and some of that was some breakdowns we had.”

Center Rienk Mast proved the most problematic perimeter threat the last time the Buckeyes and Huskers met, shooting 6-of-8 from downtown and racking up a career-high 34 points.

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Mast averages only 1.3 made triples per game and shoots 34.3% from behind the arc, but it demonstrates the Huskers’ prerogative to take and make three-pointers under fifth-year head coach Fred Hoiberg. Six different Nebraska players average at least 2.9 three-point attempts per game.

As a team, Nebraska is 26th nationally in made threes per game with 9.4 and 65th in three-point field goal percentage at 36.1%. Eighth-man C.J. Wilcher is the most accurate of the bunch, knocking down 40.9% of his attempts from outside.

“Nebraska has, probably, five different players that are capable of scoring 20 or more points on a given night,” Diebler said. “They have some real offensive firepower, but our defense is improved.”

Star guard Keisei Tominaga is the most potent offensive threat the Huskers possess, scoring a team-high 14 points per contest and hitting 37% of his team-high 5.9 three-point attempts per game.

Mast and guard Brice Williams each pitch in 12.9 points per contest while forward Juwan Gary adds 12.1. Shooters and scorers will be all over the floor in Value City Arena, so Ohio State will need to stay attached and disciplined.

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“In order to win moving forward, we have to be consistent in that area (of half-court defense),” Diebler said. “So we talked a lot about that post-Minnesota in film, in practice, and our guys deserve a ton of credit for making the adjustment.”

Projected Starting Lineup
No. Player Position Height Weight 2023-24 Stats
30 Keisei Tominaga G 6-2 179 14.0 PPG, 1.3 APG
3 Brice Williams G 6-7 213 12.9 PPG, 2.4 APG
4 Juwan Gary F 6-6 221 12.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG
53 Josiah Allick F 6-8 231 6.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG
51 Rienk Mast F 6-10 248 12.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG

Their previous meeting with Nebraska isn’t the only time shoddy perimeter defense has hurt the Buckeyes this season. Northwestern and Michigan each hit more than 50% of their distance attempts whilst defeating Ohio State earlier this year. Illinois, Indiana, Penn State and Minnesota each shot better than 41% from three in their wins against the Buckeyes.

When the Buckeyes allowed the Gophers to go 8-of-19 from deep as part of an 88-point offensive outpouring, it seemed the team’s old defensive demons were unrelenting. But even then, Diebler saw growth.

“Even going back to the Minnesota game, I felt like our halfcourt defense was really good for stretches,” Diebler said. “We just didn’t finish plays with a rebound or a loose ball, maybe an end-of-the-shot-clock assignment. Against Michigan State, we grew from that. We were significantly better.”

The Spartans started 3-of-5 from three against Ohio State and three makes came from wide-open shooters, but the Buckeyes clamped down and held them to 1-of-11 shooting the rest of the way, including an 0-for-7 second half.

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Expecting to force Nebraska to go that cold could be a little ambitious, but it’s the approach the Buckeyes will need when they tip off against the Huskers at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Ohio State expects to get back the services of its own top sharpshooter, Jamison Battle, after he missed the Michigan State game with an ankle injury.

“It’s an NCAA Tournament team, it’s a really good team coming into our building,” Diebler said. “It’s a team that beat us once already this year. So there’s plenty of motivational elements to this game, and we’re not shying away from whatever that reality may be. But we’re not spending a lot of time and energy on talking about some of these what-if scenarios, it’s more just focusing on handling this opportunity as best as we possibly can, then we’ll prepare for the next one after that.”



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Buckeyes avenge loss to U-M, win Big Ten outright

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Buckeyes avenge loss to U-M, win Big Ten outright


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jacy Sheldon scored 22 points to lead No. 2 Ohio State to its 15th straight win and the Big Ten regular-season title 67-51 over Michigan on Wednesday night.

Cotie McMahon had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Buckeyes (25-3, 16-1 Big Ten), who had already clinched at least a share of the title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament with a win over Maryland on Sunday.

The game was revenge for the Buckeyes, whose only conference loss this season came in a 69-60 shocker against Michigan in Ann Arbor on Dec. 30. Ohio State hasn’t lost since.

In that first meeting with the Wolverines, Sheldon was held to seven points and McMahon five.

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“First time we played them I felt like we weren’t at our potential,” McMahon said. “And I feel like we still aren’t, but we are way better than what we were the first time we played them.”

The Wolverines (17-12, 8-9) didn’t help themselves this time, turning the ball over 29 times leading to 30 Ohio State points. Laila Phelia led Michigan with 13 points.

The first half was plain sloppy, with 14 turnovers by Michigan and nine by Ohio State. The teams were a combined 4 for 21 from 3-point range before halftime.

The Wolverines mounted a 10-2 run to finish the first half and tied the game at 22 at the break.

Ohio’s State’s 12-2 run in the third quarter gave the Buckeyes a 14-point lead. Michigan closed it to 11 points with a 6-0 run, but a 3-pointer by Sheldon shifted the momentum back to the Buckeyes with 3:43 left.

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“You know, I thought our press was way more effective in that third quarter than at any point in the first half,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “We got some turnovers, easy baskets and I thought at that point we really started to wear on them.”

For the Buckeyes, it is the first outright Big Ten title that counted since 2009-10. They won it in 2017-18 but were stripped due to sanctions related to recruiting violations by a former assistant.



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Overheard at NFL combine: Harbaugh haircut, a ‘household name’, Michigan-Ohio State

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Overheard at NFL combine: Harbaugh haircut, a ‘household name’, Michigan-Ohio State


The NFL Scouting Combine is underway in Indianapolis, and linebackers and defensive linemen were the first position groups to speak with media during the week-long event.

Michigan has a record 18 players at this year’s combine, and a handful of them took the podium Wednesday in Indianapolis. Not surprisingly, their former head coach, Jim Harbaugh, was a popular topic after he accepted the Los Angeles Chargers coaching job last month.

With defensive line being a position of need for the Detroit Lions, there’s a chance they could use their first, No. 29 overall, to bolster their front.

Overall, dozens of players spoke to reporters Wednesday, with notable quotes highlighted below. Linebackers and defensive linemen will participate in drills Thursday, while tight ends and defensive backs will speak to media.

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Michigan edge Braiden McGregor on Harbaugh asking his mom for a haircut at a home visit during his senior year of high school: “It was funny. I don’t think a lot of people have stories like that. My mom, I know she was nervous because, I mean, it’s Coach Harbaugh. He is gonna be on TV the next week. She was excited. He still asked me about it every once and a while, like, ‘Your mom still cut?’ It was just funny. Made me feel like I made the right decision out of high school to go there.”

Penn State edge Chop Robinson, a potential first-round pick, on origins of his name: “I have a household name. It’s actually ‘Plump.’ But outside of there, it’s ‘Chop.’ … I was 14 pounds when I was born, and my mom nicknamed me ‘Pork Chop.’ Then once I got older and started to slim down, and couldn’t have people calling me ‘Pork Chop.’ So I just shortened it to ‘Chop.’”

Missouri DL Darius Robinson, a Southfield native and potential first-round option for the Lions, on meeting with Detroit: “My heart was bumping, man. I’m telling you, it was like a dream just to see all the names (and) faces, growing up a Lions fan. That was a great interview.”

STORY: Violent pass rusher meets with hometown Lions: ‘My heart was bumping, man’

Michigan LB Michael Barrett on funny Harbaugh story: “When he was recruiting me, he came on an official visit to my home. My mom had bought pizza. I think it was like three boxes we had, and he ate a whole entire box while he was there. He was like, ‘I’ve been flying all over the place and I’m kind of hungry.’ That’s the first thing that came to my mind. It’s just says all the stories he has, just random little small things he give on a day to day basis.”

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Ohio State LB Tommy Eichenberg on losing to Michigan three times: “I felt like I let down so many people. I mean, especially being a captain, too. That’s a standard is winning that game. It’s very hard for me. But you gotta keep moving forward. They got good. Like, they’re good. They’re a good team. I know from now on the Buckeyes will be good.”

Western Michigan DL Marshawn Kneeland on who he sees himself in: “Just somebody that I’ve noticed that plays a lot like how I play is Aidan Hutchinson. His high motor, high effort. He’s always running to the ball. I looked at the times; some of his times are a little faster than mine, and some of mine are a little faster than his. But I think I’m close to him.”

Michigan LB Junior Colson, who was adopted from Haiti in 2010, on when the NFL became a possibility for him: “Ever since I stepped onto the football field. I always wanted to be the best. Whatever you put your name to, whenever you lay down, you always want to try and be the best at it. Or why try and do it at all?”

STORY: Michigan linebacker believes he can make an instant impact in the NFL

Ohio State LB Steele Chambers on the four animals he’d take to war with him: “I typically go with the elephant. I’m going to mount that — I’m going have a sword with me, so I’m going to be on top of the elephant with that. I’ll have a polar bear or grizzly bear; whatever I’m feeling depending on the climate. I’ll probably go tiger — it’s probably the biggest, fastest big cat. And then I gotta go hippo — just because it’s tenacious.”

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Bills GM Brandon Beane on 2018 trade, when the team sent the No. 12 overall pick and two second-rounders to move up to No. 7 and draft QB Josh Allen: “We got criticized for how much we gave up for Josh. And I’m like, if he doesn’t work out, I’m not going to be here anyway. And if he does work out, nobody’s gonna give a (expletive).”

Washington edge Bralen Trice, a top-75 draft prospect, on his dog mentality: “I think it goes hand-in-hand with the killer mentality. Attacking everything you do, you line up on the line and look at the guy across from you, and you’re thinking, ‘I’m putting this guy in the dirt, immediately.’ It’s just showing up every day and giving everything you got, regardless of the situation. Leaving everything outside the door when you walk in, thinking only football. Putting all the fear out, that’s the dog mentality. What plays into that, at UW, a huge part of it is just brotherhood when you’re playing next to the guys who you work with every single day. It’s just I go back to that every single time.”

MLive’s Kyle Meinke, Ben Raven and Aaron McMann contributed to this story.



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