COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the first time since the 2017-18 season, two Ohio State basketball players have earned All-Big Ten honors in E.J. Liddell and Duane Washington Jr.
Liddell earned first-team honors on the coach’s ballot and second-team on the media’s ballot after averaging 16 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. The sophomore reached double figures in all but four games this season and scored a career-high 26 points in an 83-79 road win over Illinois on Jan. 16. After spending his freshman season as more of a role player, Liddell has blossomed into OSU’s best player and go-to scorer in his second season, which is a role he’s always been comfortable in.
Washington averaged 15.3 points per game in his third season in Columbus which was good enough to earn third-team honors. The juniors scored 10-plus points in all but five games while scoring a career-high 30 points in a 92-87 loss to Michigan at home on Feb. 21. Washington has shown steady improvement as a scorer over the last three seasons and averages 10.8 points for his career.
The Buckeyes’ two top scorers led them to an 18-8 record (12-8 Big Ten) and the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Ohio State will open up play on Thursday awaiting the winner between Minnesota and Northwestern. Despite a quality overall year, OSU enters the postseason after dropping its last four games and will be looking to right the ship as it tries to spark deep runs in both the conference and NCAA Tournaments. Liddell averaged 18.8 points during the losing streak while Washington average 17.3 points.
OSU’s Dorka Juhász was named to the first team by the media and the second team by the media. Teammate Jacy Sheldon was selected to the second team and the Buckeyes’ Madison Greene received honorable mention recognition and coaches voted OSU’s Kateri Poole to the Freshman Team.
Bluffton’s Archer Jr.
BLUFFTON — Bluffton University freshman Montez Archer Jr. followed up his Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week by being named to the D3football.com Team of the Week. Archer helped lead the Beavers to a 49-14 road thumping of Manchester University on Saturday.
Archer had three interceptions and a 65-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in Bluffton’s 49-14 win at Manchester on Saturday. He also led the Beavers with seven stops. His three pickoffs tied Pat Craun and Doniven Clark for the school record of interceptions in a game.
COLUMBUS — Ohio State football could not even begin spring drills before being reminded that the coronavirus pandemic remains a problem.
Ohio State announced Tuesday it has paused all football activities and closed the Woody Hayes Athletic Center’s administrative offices for one week due to an increase in positive tests for COVID-19. The decision came after Monday’s round of polymerase chain reaction testing — the mandatory rapid test for all Big Ten athletes.
A department spokesperson recently told cleveland.com the program is testing three days per week — on each scheduled day of workouts. Full spring practices have not yet begun.
According to a news release, Ohio State remains on schedule to start spring drills on March 19. OSU said athletic director Gene Smith and head team physician Dr. James Borchers made the decision “out of an abundance of caution.”
Based on protocols modified at the end of football season, athletes who test positive must refrain from activities for a minimum of 10 days.
“Our decisions on the welfare of our student-athletes, staff members and those coming to our campus, and our determination as to when we will reopen and resume activities, will continue to be guided by our medical staff,” Smith said.
“We have been successful in safely hosting nearly 100 athletic events on campus this year with limited disruptions, but this pandemic is not over,” OSU athletic director Gene Smith said in the release. “We will continue to stress the safety measures of wearing masks, consistent and thorough hand washing and physical distancing and we will remain vigilant in those areas.”
Ohio State paused team activities for about a week last summer following an increase in positive tests. It had to cancel one game last fall due to an outbreak in its own program and lost two others due to testing issues for its opponent.
COVID-19 affected OSU throughout its advancement to the national championship game. The Big Ten shortened its season to eight conference-only games, and three of the Buckeyes’ games were canceled. Several players were forced to miss late-season games — including the national championship loss to Alabama — after testing positive and entering the Big Ten’s mandatory isolation protocols.
Concordia 1, UNOH 0
LIMA — The University of Northwestern Ohio dropped a 1-0 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference match Tuesday to Concordia. UNOH is 2-1 overall and in the WHAC.
Lawrence Tech 3, UNOH 0
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — UNOH dropped a 25-22, 25-12, 25-16 WHAC match. Jessica Schaad had 10 kills, Hanna Miller had 19 assists and Aubree Ricketts had 11 digs for the Racers (2-13, 1-10 WHAC).