5Ohio State
61 - 67 Final - OT
  for this game

Buckeyes again survive Northwestern upset bid

Mar 11, 2011 - 9:33 PM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - This time it required overtime, but Ohio State survived another battle with Northwestern.

Jared Sullinger scored 16 of his 20 points from the free throw line, and the top-ranked Buckeyes emerged with a 67-61 win over the pesky Wildcats in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Sullinger added a game-high 18 rebounds for Ohio State (30-2), which advanced to face Michigan in the semifinals on Saturday despite shooting just 32 percent.

"I think that without a doubt our defense saved us today, and we didn't have a flow," said Ohio State head coach Thad Matta.

John Shurna posted a game-best 23 points for the eighth-seeded Wildcats (18-13), who nearly upset Ohio State on January 29, falling 58-57 in Evanston. Michael Thompson, who set a conference tourney scoring record with a career- high 35 points Thursday against Minnesota, had 15 points on Friday.

"I thought as a team we did what we wanted to do going in and executed the way we wanted to at both ends. Just weren't able to quite get it done," said Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody.

Alex Marcotullio nailed a three-pointer to give Northwestern a 52-51 lead with 2:09 left in regulation. Sullinger made 1-of-2 free throws to pull Ohio State even with one minute remaining.

The Wildcats' Drew Crawford and Sullinger both missed shots inside the final 60 seconds to send the game into overtime, where Jon Diebler's lone three- pointer put the Buckeyes up 61-55 with about 2 1/2 minutes to go. Northwestern never got closer than four the rest of the way.

The lead changed hands 11 times in the first half. Down 23-19, Ohio State closed out the period on a 9-0 run. Aaron Craft's tip-in beat the buzzer to make it 28-23.

The teams remained close following the break. Northwestern tied the game at 43 when Thompson drained a shot from beyond the arc. Ohio State's William Buford answered with a trey of his own on the ensuing possession. Crawford sank a pair from the foul line to give the Wildcats a 49-46 lead with just under five minutes remaining.

Game Notes

Craft had 17 points with seven rebounds, while Diebler scored 13 on 1-of-5 shooting from three-point range...Sullinger made 16-of-18 free throws, but shot just 2-of-12 from the field...Crawford supplied 12 points and 10 boards...Northwestern shot 37 percent overall...Ohio State improved to 9-2 in the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 1 seed.