We talked about the need for Ohio State to avoid a letdown after blowing out Purdue on Tuesday night. Luckily for Ohio State, skill sometimes overcomes everything – including overlooking an opponent a bit. Northwestern played the part of a team ready and willing to beat the #1 team in the country. The only thing that didn’t go along was the final score.
Northwestern’s Michael Thompson made a runner in the lane with 1 1/2 minutes to play to tie the game at 57-57. Ohio State’s Aaron Craft then turned the ball over, but Alex Marcotullio did the same for Northwestern at the other end.
The Buckeyes ran the clock down and Sullinger was fouled down low by Marcotullio with 3.5 ticks remaining. Sullinger made 1-of-2 from the line to make it 58-57.
Northwestern, which has never defeated the nation’s top-ranked team, had one last shot to pull off the upset. But Drew Crawford’s half-court heave was off the mark.
Sullinger ended with 21 points and eight rebounds for the Buckeyes (22-0, 9-0 Big Ten), who have won their last 12 true road games.
Craft and William Buford tallied 13 and 11 points, respectively, for Ohio State, which has won 26 consecutive regular-season contests.
Thompson made four three-pointers en route to 16 points to go with eight assists for the Wildcats (13-8, 3-7), who faced their second straight ranked foe after falling at No. 16 Minnesota on Wednesday, 81-70.