The Ohio State Buckeyes have played the Northwestern Wildcats twice this season. Over 80 minutes of basketball, the teams were separated by just 1 point. The teams needed five more minutes to decide who would advance to the semifinals of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament. In the end, Ohio State had a little bit too much Jared Sullinger.
Sullinger scored 20 points to go along with 18 rebounds and fellow freshman Aaron Craft scored 17 points for the Buckeyes, who improved to 30-2 on the season. Sullinger was especially effective from the free throw line, cashing in on 16-18 attempts on a day when his shot wasn’t falling(2-12).
The hottest Buckeye – Jon Diebler – also struggled, hitting just 1-5 from deep, but that three ball was huge, coming in the Overtime to give the Buckeyes a 4 point lead that Northwestern could not overcome. Ohio State shot just 3-15 as a team from behind the arc.
Ohio State seemed to struggle with the layoff, shooting just 32.2% from the field. Northwestern actually shot the ball better – 37.3% – but Ohio State’s huge advantage on the glass(41-24) was the difference.
Ohio State will await the winner of today’s second game between Michigan and Illinois.