Smothering Defense Leads To Another Big Ten Win for Ohio State

By Jenna Aquino
Greg Bartram – USA Today Sports

The Aaron Craft-led defense of the Ohio State Buckeyes made the difference in their win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday afternoon.

More often than not, that is how the Buckeyes are going to get their wins this season. Craft is one of the best point guards in the country and has the aggressiveness and leadership that any basketball coach would love to have on their team. Like Craft, the defensive-minded Shannon Scott is an important asset on the defensive side and is no slouch on the offensive side either. Scott also trails only Craft in steals so far this season. Big man Amir Williams is normally the Buckeye that is responsible for blocking shots, but others have assisted in this area, like Sam Thompson, who had a block against Nebraska. The collective effort of Ohio State allows them to have a very effective defense.

Ohio State’s defense is one that has been described as smothering. They are careful not to foul, and even if they are not able to force bad shots and keep their opponents’ shooting percentage down they find other ways to keep a team from scoring. This was the case against Nebraska, especially in the first half. Ohio State allowed them to shoot 43 percent and make 38 percent of their three-point attempts, but they slowed them down in other ways. In the first half alone, the Ohio State defense forced Nebraska to commit nine turnovers, blocked three shots, and had five steals while committing just six fouls.

For the game, Ohio State forced 13 turnovers on Nebraska while only committing seven of their own. Ohio State also committed just 15 personal fouls compared to 23 by Nebraska and added five blocks and seven steals. They were also able to decrease Nebraska’s shooting and three-point shooting percentages in the second half.

It is Craft’s senior season, and he will no doubt try to make it his best season ever. The efforts of Ohio State’s defense could win them a championship even though they don’t have a clear go-to scorer on the offensive side.

Defense wins championships, and that’s exactly what the Buckeyes are shooting for.

Jenna Aquino is a Big Ten Football writer for Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook, add her to your network on Google, or reach her by e-mail at

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