Tate, Thompson, Scott lead Ohio State past Nebraska, 81-57
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Jae'Sean Tate scored a career-high 22 points, Sam Thompson added 15 and Shannon Scott 13 to lead Ohio State past Nebraska 81-57 on Thursday night, the Cornhuskers' sixth loss in a row.
D'Angelo Russell had 11 points and six assists before leaving with leg cramps for the Buckeyes (20-8, 9-6 Big Ten), who had lost their last two.
Tarin Smith had 13 points, Terran Petteway 12 and David Rivers 10 for Nebraska (13-15, 5-11), which fell to 0-8 in conference road games. The Cornhuskers haven't won since beating Northwestern 76-60 on Feb. 3.
Tate, who also had seven rebounds, ended up 8 of 9 from the field, missing one of his two 3-point attempts. The freshman's previous career high was 20 against Rutgers.
Scott also had six assists.
Down by as many as 20 in the first half, the Cornhuskers rallied at the outset of the second half on two quick 3s by Smith. But the Buckeyes weathered that storm, with Thompson slamming home an alley-oop pass from Russell and then later popping in a 3 from the left wing to expand the lead back to 55-38.
The outcome was never in doubt again.
Russell left the court and went to the locker room early in the second half, favoring his left leg. He returned to the bench but did not play again.
The Buckeyes rolled to a 42-24 halftime lead and never looked back.
They used a 12-0 run to pull away from a 4-3 deficit. Scott had five points, Thompson four and Russell hit a 3 in the surge.
After Nebraska narrowed it to 19-12 on Nick Fuller's reverse layup, Ohio State streaked again with an 8-0 burst built around 3s by Thompson and Marc Loving and Russell's high-arching teardrop from 12 feet.
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers were coming off what their own game notes called their "poorest effort of the season" in a 28-point home loss to Iowa on Sunday afternoon.
After that game, coach Tim Miles was so angry that he barred his players from its plush home locker room. He also forbade any players from speaking to reporters, saying he would be the lone person representing the program.
The Cornhuskers' $19-million practice facility, which opened in 2011, includes heated towel racks and iPod plug-ins in the showers.
Miles said the players could find their own place to shower after practices: "Good luck. They're creative people."
Ohio State: The Buckeyes appeared to be a lock for the NCAA tournament just three weeks ago. Then they lost three of five, and looked bad doing it.
Most mock brackets have them as an 8 or 9 seed.
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers are off until March 4 when they travel to play Illinois, then close out the regular season with No. 14 Maryland at home on March 8.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes host Purdue on Sunday, are at Penn State on Wednesday and entertain No. 5 Wisconsin in the last game before the Big Ten tournament on March 8.