Feb. 28, 2013
Box Score |
WATCH: BTN Recap | Press Conference
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: No. 16/15 Ohio State 63, Northwestern 53
Records: NU (13-16, 4-12 Big Ten), Ohio State (21-7, 11-5 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Thursday, March 7 - vs. Penn State (Welsh-Ryan Arena), 6 p.m.
Tickets: Available at NUsports.com or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern rallied from 12 points down to take the lead twice in the second half, but No. 16/15 Ohio State finished strong to defeat the Wildcats 63-53 Thursday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Tre Demps led Northwestern with 14 points, while Dave Sobolewski added 13.
NU was within 11-7 five minutes into the contest, but the Buckeyes were able to extend their lead behind the red-hot shooting of Lenzelle Smith Jr. The junior scored 11 early points as the visitors extended their advantage to 22-10 by the midway point of the half.
| Ohio State BTN Game Recap |
However, the Northwestern clamped down the remainder of the stanza, allowing just seven more points as they got back into the contest. Sobolewski and Demps hit 3-pointers before Alex Olah knocked down a pair of free throws as the Wildcats trimmed the deficit to 24-18 with 4:46 left.
Sobolewski's layup with 2.1 seconds remaining in the stanza got NU within 29-22 at the break.
Four free throws by Smith Jr. to start the second half pushed Ohio State's lead back up to 11, but Northwestern rode the hot hand of Demps in getting back into the contest. Sobolewski started a 12-3 run with a 3-pointer before a layup by Kale Abrahamson made it a six-point game.
Sam Thompson and Demps traded triples before Demps scored off a backdoor feed from Olah and then made two from the free throw line as the 'Cats closed to within 36-34 with 15:32 left.
The Buckeyes pushed their lead back up to six, but another layup by Demps, a layup by Reggie Hearn and then a shot clock buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Abrahamson gave Northwestern its first lead of the game, 41-40, at the midway point of the half.
Ohio State quickly reclaimed the lead, but a traditional three-point play by Olah with 6:31 to go tied the game again, 46-46.
Deshaun Thomas put the visitors back up by two with a bucket, preceding Hearn's trey that made it 49-48 Northwestern with 4:13 left. However, Smith Jr. answered right back with his sixth 3-pointer of the game and Aaron Craft scored his first points of the contest on a jumper with 3:07 to go, putting OSU in front 53-49.
Turnovers down the stretch cost the Wildcats as a steal by Shannon Scott led to a lay-in by Thomas that made it a six-point game with two minutes to go. Olah answered with a hook shot that got NU within 55-51 with 1:41 remaining, but Thomas answered with another spinning basket in the lane and the Wildcats couldn't connect on the other end, allowing Ohio State to escape for the second time against Northwestern this season.
Smith Jr. scored a game-high 24 points for Ohio State while Thomas added 19. Abrahamson had 9 points and grabbed a career-high 9 rebounds to help the NU cause.
Northwestern returns to action next Thursday, March 7 when it closes out its home season by taking on Penn State. Tip-off is 6 p.m., but fans are encouraged to arrive early as Reggie Hearn, Alex Marcotullio and Jared Swopshire are being honored in pregame Senior Night ceremonies.
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