Established October 31, 1996
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Speechless
By John Porentas

COLUMBUS, OH - Trevor Thompson attended the press conference following OSU's 58-57 home loss to Nebraska. Reporters directed two questions at him. He was unable to find words to answer either of them. Literally. He couldn't find words to answer.

Thompson, no doubt, was not alone.

OSU's 13th loss of the season, 10th in Big Ten play, was an absolute stunner that left even the most optimistic of Buckeye fan at a loss for words. Maybe that isn't quite accurate. The words probably came to mind, they just wouldn't come out. 

The Buckeyes had held sway almost the entire game and looked like they were on their way to a win when a layup by Thompson put them up by seven at 53-47 with 3:37 left to play. What they were really on their way to was a crushing defeat.

Aided by OSU turnovers, Nebraska came back. The Huskers answered Thompson's basket with a three with 2:18 remaining then added two more to cut the lead to just two with 1:30 to go. 

The Buckeyes needed a play, and here's the amazing part. They got one.

Senior Marc Loving drilled a three to put OSU up by five at 57-52 with just 25 seconds remaining. 

Game, right?

More like the beginning of the end.

It took just seven seconds for Nebraska to answer with  a three of their own to cut the lead back to two at 57-55, but the Buckeyes had the lead and the ball. All they needed was to run out the clock. Just inbound the ball and make free throws. Simple. Instead, the Buckeyes did their best three stooges act.

The ball got inbounded to Kam Williams, but Williams could not protect it and was tied up for a jump ball. The possession arrow favored Nebraska, so the Huskers got possession. Now it came down to defense for OSU, defense and strategy.

The Buckeyes had fouls to give, and did so. Andre Wesson fouled with 19 seconds to go forcing Nebraska to inbound again. He fouled again with just 15 seconds left, and Nebraska had to inbound for a second time, and time was coming off the clock. 

The Huskers inbounded again, and once again Wesson fouled, but he made his move too late. Glynn Watson Jr. managed to drive past him an Wesson fouled him in the act of shooting. Watson's layup went in to tie the game with 11 seconds left and he then made the free throw to put Nebraska up one. 

It still wasn't over. The Buckeyes had 11 seconds. They got the ball in and advanced it to the other end of the court and called time out with 8 seconds on the clock to set up a play. 

The play turned out to be a disaster.  The ball came in to Jae'Sean Tate who was supposed to hand the ball off to Loving for the shot. Tate, however, picked up his dribble and was unable to get to Loving for the hand off. Tate ended up launching a desperation shot that was far off the mark, and the Buckeyes walked off the court a beaten team again.

It was a stunning ending to game that looked like it would end up in the win column, but as has been the case all season turnovers doomed the Buckeyes. They committed 18 of them that led to 23 Nebraska points. Nebraska's game-winning run at the end of the game was aided by four OSU turnovers in the last 2:32 of the game, two by Loving, one by Tate, and the tied up ball by Williams on the inbound play.

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