What we learned following Ohio State basketball’s home loss to Wisconsin

Ohio State basketball had a prime opportunity to get back into the win column, hosting Wisconsin, but a strong second half from the Badgers sent the Buckeyes to a 71-60 loss.

One again, Chris Holtmann’s team couldn’t find a way to make plays late in the game, watching the Badgers make a run without any answers. The loss puts the Buckeyes season record at a solid, 12-4, but just 2-3 in conference. With three of the next four games on the road, with a tough Illinois team waiting after that stretch, the Bucks will have to grow up quickly.

Like we do after every Ohio State basketball game, we learned plenty after this disappointing home loss to Wisconsin and here are some observations we made after OSU’s second-straight loss.

Ohio State’s issues closing out halves hurt again

What we learned

The Buckeyes have a big issue that has been constant over the last few years, closing out games and halves. After a Bruce Thornton three, Ohio State held a 28-21 lead with just over five minutes left before heading to the locker room. They’d end up down two, 35-33. It was the same story to close out the game. It was a smaller lead, just 56-52, but once again the Buckeyes had issues closing out, ultimately losing the game by double-digits. It’s hard to say what the issue is, but regardless, another win fell through the hands.

Roddy Gayle Jr.’s struggles continue

What we learned

After posting a career high 32-points against West Virginia, Gayle Jr. has gone cold. He scored 11, nine, and then nine again tonight but it’s the percentage that is very concerning. Over a three-game stretch, Gayle Jr. has shot 11-of-46. I’m not a math major but that is not very good. He needs to find his shooting stroke again because he’s getting good looks, they’re just not going down.

Ohio State’s bad free throw shooting didn’t help it’s issues

What we learned

It seemed like the Buckeyes had fixed another issue that has plagued them over the past few seasons, but tonight it hurt. The team collectively shot 4-of-10, which is absolutely terrible. It’s two-fold with this, getting shots to fall in gives players confidence on offense, but they couldn’t find any. Only getting to the line 10 times also is an issue, the Buckeyes settle for way too many jump shots.

Jamison Battle was nowhere to be found in the second half

What we learned

Battle was awesome in the first half, shooting 5-of-6 from the field for 14 points with 6 rebounds. He would make just 2-of-5 shots from the second half, none from beyond the arc. The stat line will look good, 18 points with eight rebounds, but his impact was not felt at the end of the game when Ohio State needed buckets the most.

Ohio State is in the midst of another tailspin

What we learned

This very much looks like we are revisiting the 2022-2023 team as well as the 2021-2022 team. Last season, as the calendar turned to the new year, Ohio State was sitting a pretty 10-3 after a road win over Northwestern. This year is turning out to be very much like last year. After a home win over Rutgers, the Buckeyes improved to 12-2, on the cusp of making some noise in the Big Ten. Now with two straight conference losses, Ohio State is starting to trend the wrong way and it sure feels like deja vu all over again.

Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire