No. 23 Buckeyes bow out with a blowout: Kaminsky, Koenig lead No. 6 Wisconsin to 72-48 win



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COLUMBUS, Ohio — This wasn't the way Ohio State wanted to send off its seniors.

Frank Kaminsky scored 20 points and Bronson Koenig touched off a 16-0 second-half run with two 3-pointers to lift No. 6 Wisconsin to an easy 72-48 victory over the 23rd-ranked Buckeyes on Sunday.

"It's discouraging. We knew we wanted to come in and win this game and they blew us out," said Shannon Scott, one of five seniors who played their final home game for Ohio State.

Next up is the Big Ten Tournament. But the Buckeyes (22-9, 11-7) say they'll be fine.

"I don't know anything about March (other than) anything can happen," said D'Angelo Russell, who led Ohio State with 17 points. "So if we keep the right attitude as a team, just keep a free and open mind that anything can happen, I feel like we'll be successful."

The sixth seed in the tournament, the Buckeyes play Thursday night against a lower seed for a shot at Michigan State in the quarterfinals on Friday.

"We have no choice but to shake it off," Scott said. "If we don't shake this off right now, we're going to lose our very next game. So, if we want to be a great team, we have to let it go right now."

Koenig, averaging 7.6 points, had 15 and Nigel Hayes scored 10 for Wisconsin, winners of three in a row and 13 of 14.

Down by as many as 17 points, the Buckeyes pulled to 46-39 on a 9-0 run with Russell scoring the first six points and then passing inside to Jae'Sean Tate, who had 13, for a three-point play.

But on consecutive possessions — the Badgers (28-3, 16-2) had three offensive rebounds on the second one — Koenig hit timely 3-pointers from the same spot on the left wing in front of the Wisconsin bench.

"Huge," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "That's Bronson. He's a gamer, no question about that."

After Ohio State missed a shot, Koenig drove the lane to make it 54-39. Sam Dekker and Kaminsky each added two more baskets to complete the 16-0 run that took more than 5 minutes and finally ended when Russell hit a jumper with 7:12 left. The Buckeyes never threatened again.

In the final minute the student section chanted "One more year!" to Russell, a freshman widely expected to go in the top few picks of the NBA draft.


LOPSIDED RESULT

The home loss was coach Thad Matta's first in March at Ohio State after going 13-0.

"You have games like this, where nothing seems to work," Matta said.

The Badgers held a 41-27 rebounding advantage, shot 50 percent from the field (31 of 62) to Ohio State's 34 percent (18 of 53) and got 14 points from their bench to two for the Buckeyes.

HALFTIME SHOW

The crowd of 18,077 at least had something to cheer about at halftime.

Members of Ohio State's national championship football team, including running back Ezekiel Elliott and linebacker Joshua Perry, joined a dance troupe during the break. They received a standing ovation.

SHUTDOWN MAN

Wisconsin guard Josh Gasser put the clamps on Russell, who came in averaging 19.3 points on 46 percent shooting from the field. Russell was 7 of 18 from the field, including 1 of 7 behind the arc. "It was really tough," Russell said. "He did a great job."

TIP-INS

Wisconsin: April could be a huge month for the Badgers and their coach.

Ryan is one of 12 finalists for induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame. The class of 2015 will be announced on April 6 — the same day as the national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Ohio State: Matta fell short in an attempt to become Ohio State's winningest coach. He came in tied with Hall of Famer Fred Taylor with 297 wins.

The late Taylor was 297-158 (.653) in 18 seasons from 1959-76, winning the 1961 national championship with a team led by Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek. Matta came into the game with a mark of 297-91 (.765) in 11 years at Ohio State. His teams have averaged 27 wins a year.

UP NEXT

Wisconsin: The Badgers play the winner of eighth-seeded Illinois and No. 9 seed Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday at noon at United Center in Chicago.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes meet the winner of 14th-seeded Rutgers and either Northwestern or Minnesota at 9 p.m. on Thursday night.


Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP

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