COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State avoided a notable upset Thursday, holding off unranked Northwestern for a 69-59 victory.
The 13th-ranked Buckeyes (18-6, 8-4 Big Ten) trailed the Wildcats (13-12, 4-8) by four points with seven minutes to play. The tension was high inside Value City Arena, where Ohio State has never lost to Northwestern.
Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas helped the Buckeyes pull away with a game-ending 22-8 run. Thomas scored 17 of his game-high 22 points in that span, and Craft hit a tricky layup to give Ohio State a 61-57 lead with 1:50 to play.
Thomas connected on two free throws, and Ohio State sophomore Sam Thompson threw down back-to-back dunks following missed 3-pointers by Northwestern in the final 48 seconds of the game.
It’s been more than three decades since the Wildcats were victorious in Columbus, but that almost changed Thursday as Northwestern hit shot after shot from behind the arc. That included a 40-foot shot from freshman Tre Demps at the halftime buzzer to tie the game at 30.
Demps finished with a team-high 16 points, one of four players in double-figures for a Northwestern team that was playing without seniors Drew Crawford (shoulder surgery) and Jared Swopshire (knee surgery).
Northwestern freshman Kale Abrahamson also connected on three shots from behind the arc and finished with 13 points.
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Continue Reading: Ohio State 69, Northwestern 59 (The SportsXchange)