A miserable shooting performance cost Ohio State sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
A matchup with Minnesota could help the Buckeyes regain that lead -- at least temporarily.The sixth-ranked Buckeyes will try to add to their recent dominance of the Golden Gophers when they visit Williams Arena on Tuesday night.Ohio State made just 26.4 percent of its shots -- its worst performance in more than four years -- while losing 58-48 to then-No. 11 Michigan State on Saturday.The defeat not only snapped a 39-game home winning streak, but also dropped the Buckeyes (21-4, 9-3) into a first-place tie with the Spartans, who won't play again until Thursday against No. 15 Wisconsin."We have to refocus," sophomore guard Aaron Craft said after the loss. "We're still at the top of the league. We've got a long way to go. ... We've got a quick turnaround. We need to get some rest tonight, get in here, watch film tomorrow and get ready for Tuesday."Ohio State has won four consecutive meetings with Minnesota (17-8, 5-7) by an average margin of 16.7 points. The Buckeyes had dropped three consecutive road games against the Gophers before winning 82-69 last February. All five Ohio State starters scored in double figures, led by Jared Sullinger's 18 points and William Buford's 15.The Gophers don't appear poised to pull off an upset this time around. They've dropped three of five overall since a three-game win streak, and have also lost three of five at home in conference play.They at least were competitive in the latest of those defeats, falling 68-61 in overtime to then-No. 21 Wisconsin last Thursday. Freshman guard Andre Hollins had 18 of his career-high 20 points after halftime while helping his team rally from a 13-point deficit but he also missed a potential game-winning shot at the end of regulation."That's going to haunt me for a while," he said.Minnesota then allowed 17 points in the extra session."To lose this one at home really does put you back on your heels," coach Tubby Smith said. "But again through it all, you've got to maintain your composure and maintain your poise and keep persevering because these types of games will take the wind out of your sails quickly."In an attempt to spark his team, Smith is expected to put Hollins back in the starting lineup Tuesday, likely in place of fellow freshman Joe Coleman, who has gone scoreless in three consecutive games. Hollins had started the first 10 games this season for the Gophers before spraining his right ankle."He was outstanding (against Wisconsin)," Smith said. "He's the reason we got back in the ball game and he's very capable of it. He'll have to see a lot more time," Smith said.Ohio State leads the series 80-49 but is 30-33 all-time in Minneapolis.