Ohio State Basketball Latest Update 2022: Ohio State basketball brings the defense, stops Loyola Chicago, 54-41, to open NCAA Tournament

The Ohio State basketball team got to the second round of the NCAA Tournament by doing something it hadn’t done all season

The Buckeyes avoided being added to the list of teams Loyola Chicago has upset over the recent years with a 54-41 win Friday afternoon at PPG Paints Arena. And they did it by playing defense

“It really comes down to ownership with them and obviously as coaches, we’re constantly seeking ways we can do a better job at putting our guys in position defensively,” head coach Chris Holtmann said

“Ultimately the effort piece comes down to ownership on their part and they were as bought in and as owned as they’ve been all year for sure on that end

“It was the best defensive performance we’ve really had in a couple years

They came into the tournament as one of the nation’s best offenses, but their defensive struggles — 132nd nationally — were at the root of their struggles to close out the season and their one-game exit in the Big Ten Tournament

But on Friday afternoon, defense kept them afloat while the offense spent the first half trying to figure out how to best attack a team keeping them in check. The teams combined to shoot 15 of 50 from the field

E.J. Liddell shined on the defensive end with 10 rebounds and three blocks to go with his 16 points. It was his eighth double-double of the season

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