Huskers suffer worst home loss in 100-plus years 

It's been more than a century since Nebraska was beaten this badly at home.

The Cornhuskers shot a season-low 29.5 percent from the field and committed a season-high 27 turnovers Saturday night in a 79-45 loss to sixth-ranked Ohio State.

The 34-point margin of defeat was Nebraska's largest since at least 1905, when the Huskers lost by 37 to Chicago Central. No site for that game was listed in Nebraska's records.

The loss marked quite a turnabout for a team that was coming off an upset of No. 11 Indiana three nights earlier and looking for back-to-back wins over a ranked opponent for the first time since February 2008.

"I'm very disappointed in our basketball team," Huskers coach Doc Sadler said. "I can't say enough about us in the last six, seven ballgames. I thought we were playing pretty well. Then tonight's game, it was a poorly coached game on my part, it was a poorly prepared team and it was obvious in the play.

"You're going to have to do everything almost perfect to have a chance to beat an Ohio State team if they're playing well, and I thought they did play good."

William Buford scored 15 points, Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas had 14 apiece, and the Buckeyes blew out Nebraska for the second time this month.

The Buckeyes (17-3, 5-3 Big Ten) swept their games against Nebraska by a combined 65 points and moved into a three-way tie for first place in the conference with Michigan and Michigan State.

They came to Lincoln 2-3 in road games, including 1-2 against Big Ten opponents. They weren't overly sharp, but still were good enough to beat the Huskers (10-9, 2-6) worse than they did in Columbus on Jan. 3, when they won 71-40.

Brandon Ubel and Bo Spencer had eight points apiece for Nebraska, which had two field-goal droughts of longer than eight minutes.

"I don't think we could have played any worse," Ubel said. "I don't think I've ever been on a team that's turned it over 27 times. You play that bad, with that many turnovers against a team like Ohio State, they're going to make you pay, and that's what happened."

The Buckeyes took their first double-digit lead 10 minutes into the game, going on a 13-0 run after the first media timeout to erase an 8-5 deficit.

"Being down that first timeout, we challenged our guys," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "I thought Nebraska was playing harder than us. They were quicker to the play. Defensively, down the stretch of the first half, we did a good job limiting open looks and getting our hands on balls. We played tonight, and that was something we needed to do."

Nebraska scored only 12 points on 4-of-20 shooting the last 15½ minutes of the half.

"We started off well and then we got down six or eight," Ubel said. "I think we might have started to panic a little bit and tried and rush things to try and even the score up quickly instead of just grinding it out like we did on the first few possessions. I think we might have just panicked a little."

Fans started leaving the Devaney Sports Center with 12 minutes to play, when Ohio State led 56-28.

"When we're connected and have five guys together, we have a pretty good half-court defense," Matta said. "But we've got a tendency to lay low sometimes and give up easy baskets. Those are the things that can really bring you down."

Sullinger, who had 19 points and 12 rebounds in the first game against Nebraska, took only three shots and was held to four points in the first half. Ubel and Jorge Brian Diaz took turns guarding him, and Spencer doubled him whenever he touched the ball in the post.

Sullinger shook loose in the second half, scoring 10 points and even making a rare 3-pointer.

Ohio State shot just 45 percent and was outrebounded 40-34 in the 400th game coached by Matta at three schools.

The Buckeyes have won by 10 points or more in 15 of their 17 victories and increased their nation-leading average victory margin to 21.95 points.

"I did not see this at all," Sadler said. "We just have to get back to going the way we were going. Does it hurt? Yeah it hurts. There is not anything that we did from coaching to anything that gave us a chance to win tonight."

Sadler said he wants to move on to the next game, Thursday at Iowa, and forget this one.

"It's just one game, just one game," Sadler said. "We've been playing good basketball. If this was a two- or three-game stretch you've been playing like this, you have some real concerns, some huge concerns. As I told them, you've got to have great effort, great enthusiasm and a great attitude. We didn't have any of them tonight. That hasn't been the norm."

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