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    Wildcats Hang Tough, But No. 5 Buckeyes Prevail 59-50

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Tim Doyle and the Wildcats face Minnesota next Wednesday at home.
    Tim Doyle and the Wildcats face Minnesota next Wednesday at home.

    Jan. 24, 2007

    Box Score |  Quotes

    EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern gave the fifth-ranked Buckeyes a run for their money tonight, but Ohio State had too much in the end as the Wildcats fell 59-50. Tim Doyle led three Wildcats in double-figures with 15 points, followed by Sterling Williams with 11 and Kevin Coble with 10.

    Freshman Greg Oden had 17 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for Ohio State.

    Oden scored 10 points over the final 10:19, after Northwestern's Tim Doyle hit back-to-back baskets to pull the Wildcats within 39-38. Oden's 17 boards were one more than his previous high, and the Buckeyes outrebounded Northwestern 39-19.

    Ivan Harris scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half when Ohio State struggled to a 27-24 lead, and delivered a key basket late in the game. Harris swooped in to rebound Mike Conley's miss and scored as he hit the floor to make it 55-48 with about 2 minutes left. And Ohio State (17-3, 5-1 Big Ten) hung on for its fourth straight win.

    Ohio State couldn't break away from the stingy Wildcats who held the Buckeyes to their lowest point total of the season. Northwestern forced 14 Ohio State turnovers, turning them into 12 points. Coble had three steals for NU.

    Northwestern handled Ohio State's full-court pressure with ease, turning the ball over just eight times throughout the game.

    Ohio State built a 36-26 in the opening minutes of the second half as Jamar Butler, Conley and Ron Lewis hit 3-pointers, but the Wildcats hung in.

    Northwestern's Kevin Coble hit a 3-pointer with about 5:30 left to make it 49-46 and had a potential tying 3 rim out on the next possession. With the Buckeyes ahead by five, Coble leaned in for a hook that made it 51-48 with about 3:40 left. Oden rebounded Lewis' missed 3-pointer to make it a five-point game.



    Harris carried the Buckeyes in the first half, going 5-of-6 from the field while hitting two of three 3-pointers.

    Back home for the first time since a six-point loss to Wisconsin on Jan. 13, Northwestern grabbed a 20-11 lead early on, with Sterling Williams and Vince Scott hitting two 3-pointers apiece and Craig Moore converting one.

    Harris started a 12-point run by Ohio State with a turnaround jumper, and hit a 3-pointer that pulled the Buckeyes within 20-18. Oden tied it with dunk and hit the first of two free throws to put them ahead 21-20 with 2:15 left in the half.

    Harris got the rebound and scored to make it a three-point game.

    Northwestern regained the lead on back-to-back baskets by Doyle, but a four-point play put the Buckeyes back on top with 42 seconds left in the half. As Conley hit a jumper, Harris was fouled away from the ball and converted both free throws to give Ohio State a 27-24 halftime lead.

    The Associated Press contributed to this story.