For the Buckeyes, some good things don’t have to come to an end.
After a closely contested first half, No. 24 Ohio State (21-6, 8-6) took over in the second frame to defeat the Wildcats 76-60 at the Value City Arena. The Buckeyes were paced by a balanced offensive attack, as 4-of-5 starters scored in double figures. LaQuinton Ross led the way with 16 points, while Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. each added 14 points.
Senior Drew Crawford scored 22 points in the losing effort for Northwestern.
Things got a bit testy late in the game when Ross and Northwestern forward Nikola Cerina engaged in a shoving match resulting in a scuffle that led to the ejections of both players and a total of 10 free throws combined between the teams. Despite the ejections and free throws, the game was well in hand as the Buckeyes continued to roll after the incident. It will be interesting to see if any disciplinary actions will be taken against the players involved.
After starting the Big Ten slate 3-5, Ohio State has won five of their last six contests and currently sit one game behind Iowa for second place in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are unlikely to climb to the top of the conference standings, but they can play for seeding in the Big Ten tournament. The top four teams in the conference receive first-round byes.
Ohio State will stay at home in Columbus for their next game on Saturday against Minnesota.
As for Northwestern (12-15, 5-9), the losing streak continues, as it’s now up to four games. In Chris Collins‘ first season at the helm, the Wildcats have brought hope to Evanston and will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years. For now, the schedule lightens up for the current version of the Wildcats, as they faces no more ranked teams, starting with a home game against Indiana on Saturday night.