After long pause, No. 13 Ohio State set to face Nebraska

National Sports

No. 13 Ohio State hopes to resume its season at Nebraska on Sunday.

The Buckeyes (8-2, 2-0 Big Ten) have not played since a Dec. 11 win against Wisconsin, having canceled games against Kentucky (Dec. 18), Tennessee Martin (Dec. 21) and New Orleans (Dec. 28) because of COVID-19 issues within the program.

“We’ll give an availability list sometime before the game, but I think we’ll have the majority of our roster that will be healthy enough,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said Friday.

The Buckeyes announced Thursday that all players were out of health and safety protocol and were at practice.

“They were excited to get back,” Holtmann said. “(It) was really the first time we had our full group.”

Nebraska (6-7, 0-2) has been idle by design since an 88-74 win against Kennesaw State on Dec. 22 following five straight losses.

Cornhuskers guard Alonzo Verge Jr. said it was a much-needed result.

“It is all about confidence and trust, trusting each other moving the ball, making that extra pass,” he said. “It plays a very big part in what we are trying to do, and I am not giving up on this team.”

It will be a tough task against the Buckeyes, who have won four straight.

“We were in such a good rhythm before the pause,” Holtmann said. “We can get back to playing at that level.”

What pleased Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg most from the Kennesaw State game was the Cornhuskers going 15 of 29 from 3-point range, while they delivered 52.6-percent shooting overall from the floor.

“Your energy is better defensively when the ball goes through the basket, and you are playing confidently out there and you are playing with a swagger,” he said.

The Buckeyes can go 3-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since the 2017-18 season when they won their first nine conference games.

–Field Level Media

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