Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
The Ohio State men’s basketball team defeated Nebraska in Lincoln Saturday night, 63-56, to keep a pair of streaks alive.
With the win, the No. 11-ranked Buckeyes extended their winning streak to four games. In the process, OSU advanced to 17-4 on the season and 7-2 in Big Ten play.
The Buckeyes also remain perfect against their newest conference foe. Since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011, OSU is 4-0 against Nebraska.
Nebraska proved to be a much tougher opponent than it was in the teams’ first meeting, in which OSU dispatched the Huskers, 70-44, at the Schottenstein Center. This time around, Nebraska gave the Buckeyes all they could handle for a good portion of the first half, and it even led a couple of times.
In the closing minutes of the half, however, OSU mounted a 15-4 run, which seemed to drain some energy out of the home crowd and the Huskers, while giving OSU all the momentum.
The Buckeyes carried that momentum into the second half, and expanded their lead to as much as 15 points.
But the resilient Huskers would not go away.
Nebraska slowly chipped away at OSU’s lead, in large part because of senior center and defensive anchor Andre Almeida.
The 6-foot-11, 314-pound Almeida made it difficult for OSU to find easy looks in the paint, and as the Buckeyes struggled to find scores, Nebraska cut the margin to five points with just over a minute left to play.
The Huskers couldn’t knock down a few open shots in the closing minute, however, and OSU put the game away from the free throw line.
Nebraska falls to 11-12 on the season and to 2-8 in Big Ten play.
The Buckeyes received sporadic production from junior forward Deshaun Thomas, who scored 15 points but struggled while doing so. The Big Ten’s leading scorer connected on just 6-of-18 shots, as he was constantly doubled-teamed and harassed by Husker defenders.
While Thomas was fairly inefficient with his scoring, Lenzelle Smith Jr. was anything but. The junior guard made all six of his field goal attempts for a game-high and season-high 21 points.
After struggling to put away one of the Big Ten’s bottom feeders, the Buckeyes will now move into what could be their toughest week of the season. The Buckeyes will embark upon a pair of contests, against No. 1 Michigan on Feb. 5 and No. 3 Indiana on Feb. 10.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: February 3, 2013
An earlier version of this story misspelled Andre Almeida’s name in the seventh paragraph.