Buckeyes lose their touch and a game, 74-66
Thomas' 3-pointer with 18:25 left gave Ohio State a 40-37 lead. The Buckeyes' next basket — Amir Williams' bucket inside off a Thomas assist at the 8:15 mark — cut the Kansas lead to 53-50.
In 19 possessions, they were 0 for 12 from the field with two turnovers, scoring eight points on foul shots.
Ahead 56-52 with 7 minutes left, Kansas pulled away thanks to its brilliant leading scorer. Redshirt freshman Ben McLemore hit a pair of foul shots and then flipped in a 15-foot jumper that bounced not once, not twice, but three times before falling through. Off an inbounds pass, McLemore then came off a back pick and dunked to push the lead to 62-52 with 5 minutes left.
The Buckeyes never got closer than six points again.
"We knew we had to play obviously better than we did tonight," Matta said.
Sam Thompson was 3 for 10 and one of those buckets was a layup. Evan Ravenel went 0 for 2, Lenzelle Smith Jr. made just 3 of 13 shots, Scott was 5 of 12, LaQuinton Ross 1 of 5 and Amir Williams 2 of 3.
Almost half of the Buckeyes' shots were behind the arc, too. They made 8 of 31 3-pointers (26 percent), meaning they were only 12 of 34 closer in (35 percent).
"We knew they were going to shoot 3s, we didn't know they were going to shoot that many," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "They became a jump-shooting team, and that helped us."
Now the Buckeyes have one more tuneup before opening Big Ten play on Jan. 2 at home against Nebraska.
Craft was asked what he had learned about his team against Kansas.
"We came out battling. We didn't really back down," he said. "The worst thing we can do is to overcomplicate things and try to look for secrets and easy shortcuts. It comes down to getting tough, getting the stops when we need to and making shots when we need to. They did that tonight, and we didn't."
Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap