Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Ohio St Buckeyes Pick & Prediction JANUARY 12th 2023

Stadium: Value City Arena Columbus
Logo Minnesota Golden Gophers
Logo Ohio St Buckeyes

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Minnesota head coach Ben Johnson knows his rebuilding project requires patience and a positive attitude.

What Johnson also needs for his Golden Gophers (6-8, 0-4 Big Ten) are more victories and fewer heartbreaks like the overtime loss to Nebraska in the team's most recent game.

That quest resumes Thursday in Columbus, Ohio, against an equally hungry Ohio State (10-5, 2-2) looking to end a two-game skid.

Minnesota showed grit in tying Nebraska on a 3-pointer by Taurus Samuels with 4.8 seconds remaining in regulation. The Gophers, however, ultimately lost 81-79 to remain winless in conference play.

"I want them to taste that success," said Johnson, a 2005 Minnesota graduate, who is in his second season as Golden Gophers head coach. "The hardest thing is to keep showing up when you don't always get the results."

The Buckeyes know what it's like to win but haven't done so lately due in part to the absence of forward Zed Key, who is third on the team in scoring (12.4 points per game) and first in rebounding (7.8).

He left 3:38 into the first half against then-No. 1 Purdue on Thursday with a shoulder sprain and has not played since. The Buckeyes dropped a 71-69 decision to the Boilermakers and an 80-73 setback at Maryland on Sunday.

"We're anxious to get him back," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said Monday. "It's a significant injury for us as a team but also one we expect him back relatively soon. When that's going to happen is kind of day-to-day at this point."

Freshman center Felix Okpara made his first start versus Maryland, but the Buckeyes missed Key's presence around the basket.

"It was the lack of physicality in the paint that he provides, certainly the offensive and defensive rebounding that I think we missed with him, and just Zed's ability to get guys in foul trouble because of how physical he is in the low post," Holtmann said. "We don't have another guy like that. That's not Felix's game right now, he's just a different post player."

-- Field Level Media

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Ohio St Buckeyes

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Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Ohio St Buckeyes Recap MAR 11TH 2021

Marcus Carr's 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left broke a tie, and Minnesota defeated Ohio State 62-59 on Thursday in Columbus, Ohio.

Carr finished with 21 points, Gabe Kalscheur added 13 points, and Daniel Oturu, Minnesota's top scorer (20.2 average), had all 11 of his points in the second half. The Gophers (11-8, 5-4 Big Ten) earned their third win in four games.

Duane Washington Jr. missed a long 3-point try at the buzzer for the Buckeyes (12-7, 2-6 Big Ten), who have lost two straight and six of their past seven.

Ohio State tied it 57-57 with 1:47 to play when Kyle Young dunked off a pass from Kaleb Wesson, then took a 59-57 lead with 1:09 remaining on Young's layup from another Wesson assist.

Carr tied it 59-59 with a lay-in with 43 seconds left.

Young led Ohio State with 14 points while Washington had 12 and CJ Walker contributed 11. Wesson, who leads the Buckeyes at 14.7 points per game, had only two points on 1-of-10 shooting but grabbed 14 rebounds.

Minnesota earned its first road win in seven tries this season and broke a 10-game losing streak in Columbus back to its last win on Jan. 19, 2005.

The Golden Gophers led 22-21 with 7:30 left in the first half but were outscored 16-6 the remainder of the period, going the next 7:13 without a field goal until Kalscheur hit a 3-pointer to make it 35-28. Walker then canned a shot at the buzzer for a nine-point lead.

The Buckeyes played as an unranked team for the first time this season due in some measure to the Golden Gophers.

Ohio State was 9-0 and holding the No. 3 spot before going to Minneapolis and losing 84-71 on Dec. 15 to start its tailspin. Carr had 35 points in that game.

The Buckeyes play at Northwestern on Sunday while the Golden Gophers host No. 11 Michigan State on Sunday.

--Field Level Media