Ohio State replaced the injured Kyle Young in the starting lineup with Duane Washington Jr. and didn’t miss a beat. Making his first start since Jan. 11, Washington hit three straight 3-pointers to open the game to get the 23rd-ranked Buckeyes started in a 75-54 victory over Nebraska on Thursday night.
“He has helped us in a couple games get off to really good starts,” coach Chris Holtmann said. “He’s got a good mindset about him whether he starts or comes off the bench, and those 3s he hit really kind of gave us some confidence early.”
While Washington scored from the perimeter and finished with 14 points, Kaleb Wesson took over inside, scoring 16 points and grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds as Ohio State (19-9, 9-8 Big Ten) won for the fourth time in five games.
The Buckeyes rode the momentum of their 79-72 win over Maryland on Sunday to a fast start in their second win over the season over the Cornhuskers. They led 26-12 after making 9 of their first 11 shots, including 5 of 6 3-pointers.
The 6-foot-9, 270-pound Wesson scored eight of the Buckeyes’ first 16 points of the second half, working over whoever the undersized Huskers sent to defend him while posting his 11th double-double of the season.
The Buckeyes never led by fewer than 14 points after half, but their offense operated at nowhere near the efficiency it did early in the game. They shot 33 percent the final 20 minutes and missed 18 of their last 19 3-point attempts.
“We are a really good shooting team. We missed some open ones tonight, and they do a good job flying at your shot,” Holtmann said. “I thought we had some patchiness offensively that I didn’t love.”
C.J. Walker had 15 points and matched his season high with five rebounds.
Nebraska (7-21, 2-15), which lost its 13th straight game, got 13 points from