Ohio State rolls over NorthwesternDec 29, 2011 - 4:49 AM Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - William Buford had 28 points and nine rebounds, as No. 2 Ohio State began the quest for its third consecutive Big Ten title with a 87-54 win over Northwestern on Wednesday.
Jared Sullinger added 17 points and 14 rebounds, Deshaun Thomas finished with 16 points, and Jordan Sibert had 12 for the Buckeyes (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten), who have not won three straight conference championships since the early 1960s.
"I just let the game come to me, but stay on top of it at the same time," said Buford. "I didn't want to take too many bad shots, which I have a tendency to do, but just let the game come to me."
Drew Crawford had 13 points for the Wildcats (10-3, 0-1), who have dropped two in a row. John Shurna added 11 points and Dave Sobolewski had 10.
The Buckeyes, who are in their 100th season of Big Ten play, have won five straight since a December 10 loss at Kansas -- a game which Sullinger missed due to back spasms.
On Wednesday, it was Buford leading the way, as the senior guard scored 13 points in a first half which saw OSU lead by as many as 19 before taking a 41-26 advantage into the locker room. Sibert came off the bench to add nine points on 3-of-4 three-point shooting over that span.
The advantage reached 20 midway through the second half on a pair of Evan Ravenel free throws and the Buckeyes were not threatened down the stretch.
Shurna and Crawford, who entered Wednesday as the Big Ten's top-two scorers, were held to a combined 9-of-30 shooting, including 2-of-8 from beyond the arc.
"Shurna just didn't have a good game," said Northwestern coach Bill Carmody. "He looked tired and he wasn't doing things decisively. We haven't practiced that hard in the past couple days. He wasn't doing anything as hard as he can and should."
OSU has now won 34 straight games at home, the nation's third-longest streak behind Duke and Kentucky.
The Buckeyes have not won three straight Big Ten titles since capturing a conference record five consecutive titles from 1960-64...In its previous 99 seasons as a member of the Big Ten, Ohio State has earned 19 regular-season conference titles...This was the 155th all-time meeting between the Buckeyes and Wildcats. OSU leads the series 110-45...Shurna entered Wednesday averaging 19.4 points per game, while Crawford came in at 18.1 ppg.
- NORTHWESTERN: 54
OHIO STATE: 87
Dec 28 7:26 PM
- NORTHWESTERN: 26
OHIO STATE: 41
Dec 28 6:23 PM
- NORTHWESTERN: 0
OHIO STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Dec 28 5:34 PM
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