September, 2019 Archive


Survey NFL Players More Concerned With Leg Injuries Than

A survey of current NFL players done by USA Today finds that players are more concerned about leg injuries than they are about head injuries.The survey of 290 players who were on rosters in December indicated that 46 percent were most concerned about a knee or leg injury compared to 24 percent who were most worried by the prospect of head or neck injuries. The knee injury suffered by Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski on a low hit by Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward was cited by several players as an illustration of their concern, including Ward’s teammate Shaun Lauvao.“You saw what happened to Gronkowski,” Lauvao said. “That’s because of a rule change. The way it was before, he would have just got hit in the head. He would have been there for the next play. It’s a Catch-22. I know they’re trying to make it safer, but some rules changes just take away.”NFL senior V.P. of health and safety policy Jeff Miller said that the league took the players’ concerns seriously, but that they wanted to have more hard data before making any decisions about new or different approaches.“When we look at the number of injuries and the types of injuries and the breakdown as to when and where and how those injuries occur, that’s going to inform the decision-making in terms of the health and safety measures that we take,” Miller said. “So if it turns out that the concern that is expressed in your survey is well-founded as we look at the number at the end of the year, then that’s something we’re going to have to address.”It’s a delicate balancing act to pull off in a game that’s going to produce injuries as long as it’s played by excessively large men moving quickly into one another and it figures to be one that the league addresses often in the years to come. read more

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Will The PGA Championship Be Jordan Spieths Great White Whale

Winning three of the four major championships in men’s professional golf is no easy feat. Only 18 golfers have ever done it,1And as we’ll see in the table below, only 11 have had a chance to cap off the career slam after 1958, when the PGA Championship switched to stroke play and thus began what’s generally regarded as the modern era of major championships. and of those, only five — Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen — have gone on to win the fourth and complete the career grand slam.2The tournaments that constitute a grand slam have changed over the years, so we’re only considering the definition in use since 1958: The Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.One of the 13 golfers stuck on three majors (poor guy, I know) is Jordan Spieth, who joined the club with his win at the British Open in July. And luckily for Spieth, the last major he needs to check off is the PGA Championship, which begins Thursday at the Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina. If Spieth wins, he’ll become the group’s sixth member — and the youngest at the time of his accession. Spieth is OK at golf, gang.But although the PGA is often regarded as the game’s weakest major, even the greatest golfers can get hung up trying to add it to their collection. Of the seven modern-era golfers who weren’t able to secure that elusive fourth major (not counting Spieth, who still has much of his career in front of him), two counted the PGA Championship as their white whale. One of those golfers was some guy named Arnold Palmer, and the other was Tom Watson — owners of 15 total majors between them. But for all their many accomplishments, the duo were never able to capture the Wanamaker Trophy. Lee TrevinoThe Masters13 Sam SneadU.S. Open19 Winning that last major is hard, especially when it’s the PGAGolf’s career grand slam candidates since 1958 Raymond FloydBritish Open7 Jack NicklausBritish Open3✓ Tiger WoodsBritish Open1✓ PLAYERMISSING MAJORCUTS MADE*SUCCESS? Gary PlayerU.S. Open3✓ * With a career grand slam on the line (i.e., after winning the other three majors, but not counting any cuts made after a slam was collected). Nine of Snead’s cuts at the U.S. Open were made before 1958.Source: ESPN Tom WatsonPGA Championship17 Phil MickelsonU.S. Open2 Rory McIlroyThe Masters3 Arnold PalmerPGA Championship21 When modern-era golfers have needed either the U.S. or British Open to cap off the slam, they’ve had at least some success — three wins against 35 cuts made after winning his first three majors.3This includes the nine pre-1958 cuts Snead made at the U.S. Open after he’d picked up the other three majors; we grandfathered him into the data because he also made 10 cuts at the U.S. Open after the modern era began. And the two players who’ve needed only the Masters as their coup de grace, Lee Trevino and Rory McIlroy, are only oh-for-16 in terms of wins versus cuts made. But between Palmer and Watson, slam-seekers are winless in their 38 cuts at the PGA, a record of futility Spieth will try to chip away at.Watson got close at the PGA before the career grand slam was on the line — he finished in a tie for second at Oakmont Country Club in 1978, though he hadn’t yet won the U.S. Open at that stage of his career. He’d get his first chance at the career slam in the summer of 1982 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma — and he put forth a solid effort, finishing in a tie for ninth on the leaderboard. But in his subsequent 23 starts at the PGA Championship, Watson would never get closer than fifth.Palmer, meanwhile, got his first shot at career-slam glory at the 1964 PGA Championship in Columbus, Ohio. He hit it well all week but ended up three strokes back of winner Bobby Nichols, in a tie for second with Nicklaus. It was a tough pill to swallow for sure, but Palmer would get many more whacks at his slam; Nichols would never win another major.But the PGA disappointments kept piling up. At the 1968 PGA Championship in San Antonio, Texas, Palmer entered Sunday two strokes back of leader Frank Beard and saw an opening when Beard blew up in the final round. But 48-year-old (!) Julius Boros played a little better, edging Palmer by a single stroke with a final-round 69.Palmer’s window was closing, but ’68 wouldn’t be his last near-miss. That would come at the 1970 PGA Championship — also played at Southern Hills — where he, for the third time in seven seasons, finished in a tie for second. That meant one of the greatest golfers ever came within a few shots of reaching the sport’s zenith on three separate occasions, only to fall short because of a bad chip here or a poor read there.Now Jordan Spieth — a 24 year-old who celebrated his first birthday two weeks before Palmer was cut from the final PGA Championship in which he appeared — has a chance to do what Palmer couldn’t.Spieth’s path won’t be easy, though — he’ll have to contend with McIlroy, a two-time PGA Championship winner who holds the course record at Quail Hollow4He shot 61 there at the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship. and who — oh, by the way — is also just one major shy of the career grand slam. (He only needs to check off a Masters victory.) Spieth may be golf’s wunderkind du jour, but it wasn’t long ago that McIlroy was the player everyone believed might challenge Jack and Tiger for GOAT status. And despite Spieth’s bid to make history this weekend, McIlroy is the tournament favorite.So it should be a fun duel: Spieth and McIlroy are two of the best golfers in the world and have been for a while. For the 2017 PGA season, Spieth ranks first in strokes gained approaching the green, fourth in total strokes gained on average, seventh in strokes gained from tee to green, 18th in strokes gained around the green, and 47th in strokes gained from putting. (Strokes gained is a statistic that measures how golfers pick up and lose strokes compared to the rest of the field. Spieth leading the PGA tour in strokes gained approaching the green means that, because his approach shots are so good, he is improving his score at a better clip than anyone else in the field. It also confirms what everyone is saying: Spieth is an excellent iron player.)What about McIlroy? He’s battled injury for much of the season, but when he has played, he’s been good. McIlroy hasn’t made enough starts in 2017 for his stats to qualify for the PGA leaderboards, but let’s have a look at them anyway. If he were ranked against the rest of the tour, McIlroy would be first in strokes gained from tee to green and in strokes gained off the tee. And McIlroy’s total strokes gained average would rank third on the tour. His play around and on the green hasn’t been great — he would be tied for 79th in strokes gained around the green and rank 96th in strokes gained from putting, if qualified — but then again, McIlroy’s strength has never been his putter. He’s a tee-to-green kind of player, and that part of his game is firing on all cylinders entering the PGA Championship. The field — and especially Spieth — should be very afraid.Whatever the outcome this Sunday, golf fans should be feeling pretty lucky right now — it’s possible Spieth and McIlroy could both achieve career grand slams by trading wins in the next two majors. But there are no guarantees in golf, especially when it comes to checking off the career slam at the PGA — just ask Palmer and Watson. read more

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Archie Griffins brother files suit against Big Ten and NCAA

Former OSU player Ray Griffin (44) played for OSU from 1974-1977. Credit: OSU AthleticsFormer Ohio State football player Ray Griffin was one of four former players to file a lawsuit on Wednesday on the grounds of lasting effects from sustained concussions during his college career.Ray, the brother of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, is suing the Big Ten and NCAA. He is not suing OSU.In Ray Griffin’s lawsuit, it states that the NCAA, Big Ten and OSU had a duty to protect their student-athletes according to the NCAA Constitution. The document outlines Article 2.2 of the constitution titled “Principle of student-athlete well-being,” which includes a student-athlete’s health and safety. The action then states, “The NCAA, Big Ten and Ohio State breached their duties to their student-athletes by concealing the dangers of concussions and refusing to implement reasonable concussion management protocols.”The New England Journal of Medicine article in 1952 that recommended players ceasing to play football after three concussions was the first article published about concussion impact on football players. The suit alleges that the NCAA didn’t acknowledge the dangers of concussions until 1994 in its Sports Medicine Handbook guideline titled “Concussions and Second Impact Syndrome,” also referred to as “Guideline 2o.” That’s three years after return-to-play criteria was developed for football players suspected of head injuries in 1991.The lawsuit also states that until 2010, OSU “completely ignored” the guideline and any concussion safety protocols, and neither the NCAA nor the Big Ten “enforced” the statement in the guideline referring to the removal of an unconscious player permanently from the game or practice the injury occurred in.Griffin’s lawsuit is of the class-action variety, which means he is representing a group rather than just himself. The lawsuit states he is representing all OSU football players from 1952-2010.Ray Griffin played for OSU from 1974-1977. He then played in the NFL from 1978-1984.According to lawsuit, Griffin began to struggle with severe depression, anxiety, short-term memory loss, impulse problems, anger issues and other debilitating problems, all effects of concussions.When selected for a Boston University study on the effects of concussions on football players, Griffin was told he had every marker of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease commonly found in the brain of athletes at risk to concussions. He is seeking “economic, monetary, actual, consequential, compensatory and punitive damages,” as well as all past, present and future medical expenses and time and interest lost, according to the lawsuit.Griffin filed his lawsuit with law firm Edelson PC. The firm said that the other lawsuits were from former players of Duke University, the University of Tennessee and the University of Michigan. Last month Edelson PC filed six similar lawsuits against the NCAA on behalf of former players.Editor’s note: This post has been updated to properly reflect the outcome of Raymond Griffin’s participation in a Boston University study. He didn’t learn he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Rather, he was told he “displayed every marker for CTE.” read more

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Football Marcus Baugh confirms he will return for senior season

OSU redshirt junior tight end Marcus Baugh (85) flexes after his touchdown during the first half of the Buckeyes game against Rutgers on Oct. 1. The Buckeyes won 58-0. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorOhio State lost two of its best options in the passing game in the past week with the departures of wide receiver Noah Brown and H-back Curtis Samuel after their redshirt sophomore and junior seasons. On Tuesday, redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett knew he would have at least one other familiar target in Marcus Baugh.The redshirt junior tight end confirmed on Twitter that he would return for his final season, saying “Lol, I’m staying.”Baugh told affiliate that he was coming back to Columbus in 2017, but made it official on Tuesday.Baugh caught 24 passes for 269 yards and scored two touchdowns in 2016. He caught a season-high five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown against Penn I’m staying— Beeezy (@MarcusBaugh85) January 10, 2017 read more

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OSU earns highest NCAA Tournament seed in school history

After winning the Big Ten regular season and tournament championships, the Ohio State men’s soccer team earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. “[Our four seed] is recognition of the season,” coach John Bluem said. “The run we had at the end of the season, winning the Big Ten regular season championship, the Big Ten conference championship, beating the teams we did. At the end of the season our RPI kept getting better and better.” Because of that run put together by the Buckeyes, they earned the highest seed in program history, guaranteeing them a bye in the first round of tournament play.Bluem marks an Oct. 25 2-0 loss to Wisconsin as one of the games that was important in going forward. “We lost that game at Wisconsin. Then we won four straight games since then against the best teams on our schedule,” Bluem said. “The team found a nice rhythm and the wins have just improved the confidence and belief this team has in itself.” OSU has been playing well in its last four games, starting with a win against Indiana and ending with a win against Penn State for the conference tournament championship.The Buckeyes also beat archrival Michigan to grab the Big Ten regular season title and defeated Indiana once again in the semifinals. With that win they became the first team ever to defeat Indiana twice in one season. OSU must now sit and wait until its game, which will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes will await the winner of Drake vs. Western Illinois matchup on Thursday night.  “We’ve been working with them to keep their heads on straight [and] take it one game at a time, which they’re going to need to do.” Bluem said. “Anyone in the tournament is going to be good enough to beat you. You’re going to have to respect all your opponents and it will be very important to get a hold on this team’s ego and keep it in check.” For the Buckeyes, it’s their third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and seventh in program history. All appearances have come under Bluem’s coaching. He has been with the Buckeyes for 12 seasons. Elsewhere in the tournament, Akron earned the overall No. 1 seed, followed by Wake Forest and Virginia with the second and third. The top four teams in the tournament will have home-field advantage throughout the tournament, assuming they continue to win. At the end of the 48-team playoff, the four remaining teams will advance to the College Cup held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The farthest the Buckeyes have ever advanced in the tournament was in 2007, when they lost to Wake Forest in the College Cup Final. read more

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Ohio State mens lacrosse focused on not looking past Marquette

Returning home from a tough road trip to Jacksonville with a 2-0 record, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team will set its sights on this weekend’s home matchup with the Marquette Golden Eagles. Led by senior attacker and captain Logan Schuss’ nine goals over the past two games, the Buckeyes’ offense has been flying high this season, averaging 11.5 goals per game in the first two games of the season. It also earned Schuss Eastern College Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors. Sophomore midfielder Jesse King, who scored two goals Sunday against Jacksonville, said he looks to continue that trend against Marquette. “I think it’s our whole offense, we are slowly starting to come together and build that chemistry between us,” King said. “I know we have the first two lines, that everyone is very capable of scoring.” Two areas in which the Buckeyes struggled during the preseason were winning groundballs and turnovers, and coach Nick Myers said he put a heavy focus on those issues heading into the year. The coach’s message has apparently sunk in as OSU leads its opponents 59-45 in groundballs won. “Groundballs is a stat that speaks to extra possession, that speaks to an effort level, that speaks to a tenacity that certainly we pride ourselves on,” Myers said. “That’s a key component to our success.” A win Saturday is much needed for OSU, which hopes to capture as many wins as possible before what might be a touch stretch in the month of March. Five of the Buckeyes six games in March are against teams ranked in the top 11, including current No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 1 Loyola (Md.). Freshman attacker Carter Brown knows the schedule ahead will be rough, but isn’t overlooking an inexperienced Golden Eagles squad. “We got the board ‘beat Marquette’ in the locker room, just stick to our next game,” Brown said. “Coach has done a great job, telling us just don’t look past our next opponent.” For OSU it is harder to prepare for a team like Marquette, who is in its first season as a program. “I think people underestimate the ability with a first-year program,” Myers said. “It’s a little unsettling knowing they haven’t played and that we have no film. We have very little preparation, and I know they have film on us.” The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Golden Eagles at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. read more

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Ohio State mens tennis ties NCAA record with 184th consecutive home victory

Redshirt-junior Kevin Metka hits the ball during a match against Michigan March 21 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 6-1.Credit: Sam Harrington / Lantern photographerA share of history has been captured by the No. 2 Ohio State men’s tennis team.With a 6-1 defeat of Michigan Friday, the Buckeyes tied the NCAA all-time home win streak with their 184th consecutive victory.“It’s been a nerve-wracking experience going through this thing,” coach Ty Tucker said. “Every match has been counted … it’s nice that the guys go down in history.”The Stanford women’s tennis team originally set the record by going undefeated at home from 1999-2011. The Buckeyes (19-2, 4-0) began their streak during the 2003 season and didn’t let the Wolverines (9-7, 1-1) get in their way of the record book.The Buckeyes took the first two matches Friday in doubles to give them a quick 1-0 lead.Redshirt-sophomore Chris Diaz and freshman Herkko Pollanen of OSU defeated Michigan juniors Alex Petrone and Michael Zhu 8-7 (7-2). It was the first time Diaz and Pollanen played together this season, showing poise to dominate the tiebreaker and win the point.Not long after that, OSU’s senior Peter Kobelt and redshirt-junior Kevin Metka beat Michigan seniors Alex Buzzi and Barrett Franks, 8-6, to give the Buckeyes the advantage heading into singles play.Diaz was off first, again, after beating junior Vlad Stefan 6-0, 6-2. Redshirt-junior Hunter Callahan then finished off Buzzi 6-1, 6-1. Both Diaz and Callahan jumped out to big leads en route to pushing the Buckeyes to a commanding 3-0 lead.Although the Varsity Tennis Center was filled to capacity and history was on the line, Diaz said he was able to stay calm throughout the match.“I’d been struggling a little bit so to get another win under my belt felt good,” Diaz said. “I just try to relax and tell myself to focus and not to think too much … sometimes I get way to into it and just have to remember it’s just a game.”Kobelt, as he has done multiple times already this season, clinched the match and put the Buckeyes in the record book with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 win over Petrone. As the captain of the team and part of 68 of those home wins, Kobelt said sealing the win was something special.“To get the final point against Michigan at home and to set the record, it’s like a storybook kind of thing,” Kobelt said. “At the end of the day, we’re just trying to get a win and win the Big Ten.”As is custom in Big Ten play, the unfinished matches continued even after the match had already been decided.Metka and redshirt-freshman Ralf Steinbach both won in three sets to give the Buckeyes six points. Pollanen was the only OSU player to lose, falling in a two-set marathon match to senior Shaun Bernstein 7-6 (8-6), 7-5.The Buckeyes have the opportunity to break the tie and have the most dominant home win streak in the history of the NCAA next Friday when No. 25 Northwestern comes to town.“Hopefully we have enough magic in us to win one more home match and kick Stanford out of the equation,” Tucker said.The match against the Wildcats is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center. read more

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Ohio State womens soccer falls at Penn State

Then-freshman defender Taylor Schissler makes a play on the ball in a game against Pittsburgh Aug. 28, 2013. OSU won 2-0. Credit: Lantern file photoIt was a tough Friday night for the Ohio State women’s soccer team as it lost on the road against No. 8 Penn State.The Nittany Lions outscored the Buckeyes, 5-1, handing the team its worst loss of the season. The most goals allowed by the Buckeyes before the loss on Friday was three, in losses against Purdue on Sept. 14 and then-No. 4 Virginia Tech on Aug. 31.Scoring began early when Penn State freshman forward Frannie Crouse gave the Nittany Lions the lead by scoring off a cross in the second minute. Penn State added another goal in the first half when sophomore midfielder Salina Williford scored off an OSU turnover in the 27th minute.Penn State took a 2-0 lead into the half while also holding a 7-1 lead in shots. The Buckeyes got on the board early in the second half when freshman midfielder Sydney Dudley scored on a header off a cross in the 46th minute. The Nittany Lions responded quickly with a goal from senior defender Whitney Church less than three minutes later.Penn State increased the lead to 4-1 in the 65th minute when Crouse scored her second goal of the evening on a breakaway. The Nittany Lions added another goal to their lead in the 76th minute from junior forward Raquel Rodriguez off a cross from freshman midfielder Haleigh Echard.Penn State held 14-4 advantage in shots. OSU is 1-5-0 this season when trailing opponents in shot attempts.The Buckeyes fell to 4-5-0 for the season and 1-2-0 in Big Ten play, while the Nittany Lions improved to 7-1-0 and 3-0 in the Big Ten.The Buckeyes next game is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. against No. 22 Illinois at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

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Mens hockey Buckeyes attend NHL development camps

Ohio State sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski (center) poses for a photo with Cam Lee and Wyatt Kalynuk at Philadelphia Flyers development camp. Credit: Zack Hill | Philadelphia Flyers senior director of public relationsAfter the success the Ohio State men’s hockey team saw last year, reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009, a handful of players from the team received opportunities to skate for NHL teams during the summer.Five players who are returning from last year’s team — forwards Mason Jobst, Tanner Laczynski, Dakota Joshua and John Wiitala and defender Wyatt Ege — and three players who graduated — forward Nick Schilkey, defender Josh Healey and goalie Matt Tomkins — were invited to development camps for NHL teams across the country. These camps are meant to give teams a chance to check out prospects whom they already drafted, as well as give other young players a chance to gain experience with NHL coaches and staff.“It was really fun,” said Wiitala, who skated with the Minnesota Wild. “My family has been season-ticket holders for [the Wild] for a long time so I’ve seen a lot of games there, but it was cool getting to meet players around the rink that I’ve been watching for a really long time.”This was Wiitala’s first year attending the camp, as it was for Ege, who skated with the Vegas Golden Knights expansion team.While this was a new experience for Ege and Wiitala, Laczynski and Joshua went to their second and third NHL camps this past summer, respectively.Joshua was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the sixth round of the 2014 draft, and Laczynski was selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. Both players attended their respective teams’ development camps.“I came in this year with a little bit more confidence, and it was more of a better experience overall, just enjoying my time there and not being so nervous, knowing most of the guys and coaching staff,” Laczynski said.Making his third appearance to an NHL camp, Joshua said he feels more like a veteran, and the camps give him a taste of what he hopes to achieve.“Going there as a young kid obviously I knew it was going to be a long time before I had a chance of making it somewhere in the organization, but now that I’m getting older, it’s getting closer and closer,” Joshua said. Jobst, whose 55 points led the Big Ten a season ago, was the fifth returning player to attend a camp. He attended camps for both the Boston Bruins and the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.“It was pretty surreal to put the jersey on for the first time and just get to meet all of the coaches and the coaching staff, and seeing the Stanley Cup was an unbelievable feeling, and everyone was so great there,” Jobst said.The Buckeyes have an exhibition game at home against Ryerson on Sept. 30, and then start the regular season on the road at Wisconsin on Oct. 6.  Despite losing key contributors like Schilkey and goalie Christian Frey, the hockey team has continued to maintain lofty positions for this upcoming season.“I think that every player has their individual goals, but I think what’s really important is the team goals, getting back to the tournament, and not just making it there, making a dent, and making a little run,” Witala said.To make this run, new players will need to step up — the Buckeyes graduated two of their three leading scorers this offseason — but each player said there are things he learned in development camps, like the importance of nutrition and skating stride, that he can bring back to Columbus. “The biggest thing is the work ethic,” Joshua said.  “The ones that you see make it are working really hard, learning how to try and match that and bring that every day I think is a big thing for me to bring back here.” read more

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Womens Basketball Ohio State commits 30 turnovers falls to Rutgers 6656 in

Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff calls out a play in the first half of the game against Rutgers on March 3. Ohio State lost 66-56. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorIt was a tale of two halves for the Ohio State women’s basketball team (14-13, 10-8) when it took on Rutgers (21-8, 13-5) on Sunday. Despite outscoring the Scarlet Knights 22-9 in the first quarter, the Buckeyes’ ugly side reared its head in the second half, as Rutgers overcame a 13-point deficit at halftime to take the win 66-56. With the loss, the Buckeyes snap a four-game winning streak and now move into the Big Ten tournament as the No. 5 seed. Ohio State redshirt senior forward Makayla Waterman said the loss can be attributed to the 30 turnovers the Buckeyes recorded.“We couldn’t take care of the ball,” Waterman said. “If we want to win any games, that can’t happen. I think we know that, but we were just getting frustrated with ourselves.”Despite suffering the team’s first loss since Feb. 10, redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro said it won’t affect the team negatively moving forward.“I just think it fuels our fire to go into the Big Ten tournament and make some noise,” Santoro said. “We’re not going to hang our heads on this game. we’re just going to learn from and prepare for the next team we have. A loss like this isn’t fun, but we’ll use it to motivate us.”Santoro shot 4-of-7 from the field for a team-leading 13 points with two 3-point makes. Early on, the game looked like a picture-perfect rematch of when Ohio State trounced Rutgers with a 20-point win on the road on Feb. 14. The Buckeyes jumped out to a 22-9 lead in the first quarter, shooting 72 percent from the field in the first half, including an almost perfect 5-of-6 from 3. Janai Crooms was a huge reason for the early lead. The freshman forward led the team with eight points in the first half, six coming from the 3-point line. Crooms was only able to tack on four additional points in the second half to finish the game with 12 points along with four assists and four rebounds. However, the Scarlet Knights employed an effective full-court press to force turnovers and Ohio State went from dominating the first half to shooting only 21 percent in the second half. The Buckeyes managed to make only three shots in the second half.Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said the team’s focus will be a key thing addressed in future practices, and that there were times his team handled the pressure of this game “abysmally.”“Our attention to detail and focus was not as good as it’s been,” McGuff said. “We got to get back to making sure we’re sharp in practice and really preparing for the teams we face.”Also factoring into the shift of power in the game was the Scarlet Knights tallying 15 offensive rebounds to Ohio State’s two. This allowed Rutgers to get more looks at the basket and helped lead to the Buckeyes being outscored 41-18 in the second half. Even with forcing 22 turnovers, the Buckeyes could not hit shots down the stretch, going 1-for-8 from the field in the fourth quarter in the defeat.McGuff attributed his team’s late collapse to its failure to minimize mistakes.“I think there’s the fact that we made a mistake and then it would carry over into the next play and the next play,” McGuff said. “One turnover is not just one turnover. It’s potentially a missed defensive assignment or something else. Our kids are trying to do the right thing. They’re just getting a little bit too down on themselves and not getting back to the next play.”Ohio State moves forward to the Big Ten tournament this week from March 6-10 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. read more

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