A somewhat ugly game ended with Thad Matta's Ohio State club notching its seventh straight-victory and third Big Ten conference win Wednesday. The Buckeyes used a late 8-0 run to push past Northwestern, 65-56, in Evanston, Illinois to earn their first conference road triumph of the season.
Kam Williams led Ohio State with 21 points, exploding off the bench in an otherwise hapless offensive effort by each team. The Wildcats and Buckeyes were a combined 11-of-43 from 3-point range. Williams made all five of Ohio State's shots from beyond the arc.
Both teams struggled to score in the early portions of the first half, but Ohio State found a spark in the form of Williams and Trevor Thompson. Williams sprung off the bench to lead his team with eight points before halftime in place of Keita Bates-Diop, who sat the majority of the first 20 minutes after picking up two early fouls.
|25-56 (45)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||21-67 (31)|
|5-18 (28)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||6-25 (24)|
|10-22 (45)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||8-15 (53)|
Still, the game was tied at each of the game's first three media timeouts. The Wildcats missed their first 11 shots from beyond the arc, allowing Ohio State to surge ahead with a 9-0 run. However, Northwestern led, 27-26, at the break after it closed the half on 10-0 run on the heels of back-to-back 3-pointers.
The teams exchanged leads early in the second, but Williams again paced the Buckeyes as the rest of his teammates had trouble finding the bottom of the net.
Ohio State led by seven with 4:22 left after a layup by Thompson, and the Wildcats — who were without two starters due to injury — were unable to find enough offense down the stretch to keep pace. Thompson finished with a double-double, notching 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Bryant McIntosh was the lone Northwestern player in double figures. He finished with 15 points, but needed 15 shots to do so. The Wildcats finished a woeful 6-of-25 from deep.
The Buckeyes (11-5, 3-0 Big Ten) have won nine of 10 games and 22 of their last 23 contests against Northwestern.
Ohio State plays at Indiana Sunday. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m.