Chicago, IL – Deshaun Thomas and Sam Thompson scored 19 points apiece, as 10th-ranked Ohio State defeated Nebraska, 71-50, in the Big Ten Conference Tournament quarterfinals.
Ohio State (24-7), which earned the second seed and a first-round bye in the tourney, will play Michigan State in the semifinals on Saturday.
Thompson shot 8-of-9 from the field and Thomas grabbed nine boards. LaQuinton Ross scored 11 points off the bench.
"We know we've got to take our shooting really serious and we feel kind of comfortable," said Thomas. "The one thing that we did out there, we shared the ball as a team and we hit the right spots and we knocked down the jumpers. Q [LaQuinton Ross] came in, [Aaron] Craft had one at the top. Sam Thompson had a great shooting night. But we feel kind of comfortable. This is what we love and we take shooting very serious.
Brandon Ubel had a team-high 16 points and seven rebounds for the Cornhuskers (15-18), who were the tenth seed in the tourney and defeated seventh seed Purdue, 57-55, in the first round on Thursday. Shavon Shields was the only other Nebraska player to score double-digits with 14.
"It was definitely something that that's kind of what the game came down to was us not handling the pressure well," said Ubel. "You know, kind of being loose with the ball at times; it ended up costing us the game. Obviously it's frustrating when you're turning the ball over and they are turning that into buckets on the other end. We just weren't tight with our games, and you know, kind of let that pressure get to us a little bit.
Up 24-23 with 1:39 left in the first half, the Buckeyes made four consecutive free throws - three by Thomas -- to take a 28-23 lead at halftime.
The Buckeyes pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Cornhuskers 26-5 within the first eight minutes of the frame. The run was capped with a reverse dunk by Thomas for a 54-28 advantage.
Nebraska had a 10-0 spurt afterwards and cut the deficit to 56-40 with 6:18 remaining in regulation, but it was not enough.
The Cornhuskers scored just three points in the final 4 1/2 minutes.
Ross scored all of his points in the second half ... The Buckeyes shot 17- of-22 from the floor in the second half, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range. The Cornhuskers recorded just nine assists in the game ... Ohio State defeated Nebraska in both of the regular season meetings.