Wednesday evening on the college hardwood and we will see a pair of teams from the Big 10 Conference square off as the Northwestern Wildcats rumble with the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Wildcats enter this contest at 6-4 while Ohio State has gone 9-3.
Wildcats Were No Match For The IlliniThe Northwestern Wildcats started league play by winning their last three games, but they have hit a bump in the road of late. The Cats enter this game having lost their last three games in a row after falling to Illinois at home by a score of 81-56. They were no match for a strong Illinois squad, especially on offense. The offense has now averaged just 69.7 ppg in league play, compared to putting up 93.3 ppg in their non-league games. Three of their non-conference games have come against teams that Vegas doesn't normally have lines on, while their other non-league game was against Pittsburgh, and they scored just 70 points in that game. That is a bit stunning as the Cats have tried to be more of an uptempo team, and they focused on scoring, but in their more challenging games, that has not been the case.
"He loves the game. He eats, sleeps and breathes basketball."@NUMensBball's @Miller_Kopp is so focused and driven to succeed on the hardwood.— Northwestern On BTN (@NUOnBTN) January 11, 2021
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The Wildcats shot a miserable 33% from the floor overall against the Buckeyes, including just 30% (6/20) from long range. They will have to shoot far better than that if they hope to win this game. Northwestern did win the turnover battle by two, but they were outrebounded by 13. Miller Kopp is the team's leading scorer at 13.8 ppg, but he had just eight points in the loss. Robbie Beran led them with 11 points and is now at 7.6 ppg on the year. The Cats need to get Kopp back on track. They also will need the defense to play much better after allowing Illinois to connect on 49% of their shots overall, including 41% (11/27) of their shots from long range.
Northwestern enters this game ranked 65th in scoring at 79.1 ppg, 110th in shooting (45.9%), 12th in three-point shooting (40.2%), and 61st in free throw shooting at 74.2%. On defense, they are 156th in points allowed, giving up 68.9 ppg, 100th in defensive FG% (41.1%), and 158th in three-point defense (32.4%).
Buckeyes Take Down Rutgers On The RoadThe Ohio State Buckeyes are off to a fine start this year as they have gone 9-3 overall, but we note that they are just 3-3 in league play. That makes this a huge game for both teams. The Buckeyes would also like to get revenge for a 71-70 loss to the Wildcats on December 26th. The offense has been key for the Buckeyes in league play as they have averaged just 63.3 ppg in their three losses, compared to 83 ppg in their three wins. Ohio State enters this game off of a 79-68 road win over Rutgers, which gives them a season sweep of that series. They beat Rutgers 80-63 at home back on December 23rd.
The Buckeyes shot 51% from the floor in the latest meeting, including 42% (10/24% from long range. They could have had a more decisive win had Ohio State not missed nine free throws. That was a bit of an anomaly as Ohio State has been one of the nation's best free-throw shooting teams. Leading scorer Duane Washington Jr. (15.1 ppg) led the team in the win with 17 points, while E.J. Liddell (14.0 ppg) had 15 and Kyle Young (7.9 ppg). The defense played well as they allowed the Scarlet Knights to hit just 44% of their shots overall, including 25% (5/20) of their shots from long range. Defending the arc has been an issue for the Buckeyes this year, but they clamped down on Rutgers and will look to do the same here.
Ohio State enters this game ranked 98th in scoring at 76.5 ppg, 184th in shooting (44.1%), 225th in three-point shooting (32.1%), and 34th in free throw shooting at 76.0%. On defense, they are 91st in points allowed, giving up 66.3 ppg, 88th in defensive FG% (40.7%), and 240th in three-point defense (34.4%).
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com Ohio State is:
- 20-7 ATS in their last 27 home games
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record