Northwestern (12-14, 5-8 Big Ten) looks to end its three-game losing streak Wednesday at No. 24 Ohio State (20-6, 7-6). This is the first and only regular season meeting between the Wildcats and the Buckeyes.
The Wildcats became the “road warriors” of the Big Ten with three straight road wins from Jan. 18 to Feb. 1, but they lost their last time away from home at Michigan State.
After a 15-0 start, Ohio State lost four straight games and eventually fell to 3-5 in the Big Ten. Since then, however, the Buckeyes have won four of five games with the only loss coming in a close game to first-place Michigan.
The Wildcats will have their hands full Wednesday with the nationally ranked Buckeyes.
Ohio State sports one of the conference’s most capable scorers in 6’8″ forward LaQuinton Ross. Ross will pose a mismatch to Northwestern all game with his size, athleticism and shooting ability. The junior averages 14.4 points and shoots 40% from deep.
The Buckeyes also have one of the nation’s best point guards in senior Aaron Craft. Craft is not phenomenal statistically with 9.5 points, 4.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game. But, he makes winning plays and is as good a defender as you will find in college basketball.
Senior Lenzelle Smith Jr. and juniors Shannon Scott and Amir Williams are also having great seasons although they are often overlooked.
Smith is second on the team with 11.7 points per game.
Scott has been a great complement to Craft in the backcourt and will be considered one of the Big Ten’s best backcourt defenders next season. Scott averages 7.4 points, 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals.
Williams anchors the Buckeyes’ frontcourt, averaging 8.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. He also shoots better than 60% from the field.
Tip off Wednesday is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised on Big Ten Network.