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What we learned after Ohio State basketball’s crushing loss to Indiana

Ohio State basketball looked like it had a win in hand, but another second half collapse saw the Buckeyes drop a tough one, this time to Indiana 76-73.

The Buckeye held the lead for the majority of the game, only to see the Hoosier storm back in the second half and make plays when needed to and come away with the road victory.

Once again, head coach Chris Holtmann had to watch his team struggle down the stretch without an answer for its opponent. Up thirteen points with just over 10 minutes remaining, Indiana outscored the Buckeyes 27-13, and stole a win.

It was another Buckeye loss where we learned plenty about this team, which had some good, but a lot of bad in the latest gut wrenching loss.

Roddy Gayle Jr. was great in the first half

What we learned

Roddy Gayle Jr. was on fire in the first half, making all five of his shots, all four of his free throws for 15 points. He took great shots while being aggressive going to the basket. This is the type of player that he can be, the issue is inconsistency. Gayle Jr. would finish the game with a solid line, 19-points, but the majority of his damage was done in the first 20 minutes.

Jamison Battle was shy shooting from deep early on

What we learned

The Big Ten’s leading three-point shooter only shot once from beyond the arc and hasn’t been nearly as aggressive as he has been in the past. He did come out firing away in the second half, but you want to see him making more than just a single attempt in 20 minutes. It was just five total shots on the game, not nearly enough. Part of it is getting open looks, and Holtmann has to do a better job of designing plays for his best long distance shooter.

Ohio State’s bench didn’t produce

What we learned

Multiple non-starters got on the court for the Buckeyes, but you wouldn’t have known it. Zed Key was the only scorer in the first half, but the group really didn’t shoot the ball with just six attempts. The production was a bit better in the second half, but in total the bench scored just nine points. It’s hard to win relying on just your starters for the bulk of the production.

Ohio State still doesn’t have a killer instinct

What we learned

The Buckeyes had an opportunity to put Indiana away early in the second half, but failed to do so. It gave the visiting Hoosiers confidence, which they used to make their comeback from down 18-points at one time. This Buckeye team has consistently struggled to close out games and halves, it’s a multitude of issues why this is the case. Bad offense, spotty defense and the inability to mentally get over the hump are just some of the issues.

Ohio State’s misery continues

What we learned

The past two games have been more than winnable for the Buckeyes, yet they collapsed at the end in each of them. Watching the game, you could clearly see that Indiana realized that if it kept fighting, it would eventually break the opponent. This all falls on Holtmann, who can’t get this team to play smart, sound basketball toward the end of games. At the end of the day, this is just another reason why we should see a new coach come the end of this season.

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire