Turner gives Bucks win
COLUMBUS (AP) — Evan Turner hit two jumpers down the stretch and Jon Diebler added two clinching free throws to lead Ohio State past Northwestern 52-47 on Sunday.
Ohio State (20-9, 10-8), which nearly blew a 12-point second-half lead, will be the No. 5 seed and Northwestern No. 9 at the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.
The win kept coach Thad Matta’s streak of 20-win seasons intact, making him 9-for-9 as a head coach.
Turner had 17 points, Diebler and William Buford 11 apiece and B.J. Mullens 10 for the Buckeyes, who had no seniors to honor at a final home game.
Craig Moore scored 18 points — including a late four-point play — for the Wildcats (17-12, 8-10). Kevin Coble added 13 and Michael Thompson 12.
The Buckeyes barely survived several Northwestern chances to force overtime.
Ohio State led by 12 after scoring the first basket of the second half before the Wildcats went on a 13-0 run. Moore hit two 3s, Thompson one and Coble had two baskets during the surge. It was Coble’s fake and short turnaround jumper in the lane that gave Northwestern its first lead of the game at the 12:15 mark.
But the Buckeyes suddenly realized that Mullens was wide open for backdoor, alley-oop passes behind the Northwestern zone defense.
Three times in the next five Ohio State possessions, Turner had the ball atop the key and tossed a high lob pass that Mullens dunked. Another time Turner tried a 3 that Mullens rebounded and followed. Thanks to Mullens’ easy baskets, the Buckeyes regained the lead, 37-32 by the 8:30 mark.
Out of a time-out, Northwestern coach BIll Carmody switched back to a man-to-man defense, and the Wildcats took off again.
Two 3-pointers by Moore and another by Coble gave them a 41-39 lead before Turner slashed through the lane and hit a finger roll to tie it.
After a Northwestern turnover, Turner drove to the middle of the lane, faked and shot over the outstretched hand of defender Jeff Ryan to make it 43-41 with just over 4 minutes left.
That led to Thompson’s wild shot.
With time running out on the shot clock, he took a kickout pass from Luka Mirkovic and heaved a shot as the buzzer sounded, contorting his body to get the shot off around the defense of Ohio State’s Jon Diebler. The shot banked in, with referee Tim Higgins signaled that the 3 was released in time and that Diebler had fouled Thompson. Thompson’s free throw completed the four-point play and gave the Wildcats a 45-43 lead with 3:38 remaining.
Diebler countered with a 3 from the left corner to give the lead back to Ohio State.
Following a Northwestern miss, Diebler stuttered through the lane past three defenders for a layup and a 48-45 Buckeyes lead with just over 2 minutes left.
A minute later, Thompson drove from the corner along the left baseline and his 10-foot runner feel to cut the gap to a point.
With the Wildcats now back in the zone but wary of Mullens, Turner drove past Sterling Williams to hit a pull-up 15-foot jumper with 25 seconds remaining.
Coble missed a 3 while trying to draw a foul with 14 seconds left, Mullens rebounding for Ohio State.
But on the inbounds pass, Moore was able to deflect the ball off of Turner’s foot and out of bounds to give Northwestern another shot at tying.
The best shot the Wildcats could get was Mirkovic’s forced 3 from the left corner, with Turner getting a hand on the ball as Mirkovic released it. The ball came up short of the basket, with Diebler catching it without having to leave his feet.
He was promptly fouled and hit both free throws to clinch the decision.
Both teams had lengthy scoring droughts in the opening half. The Buckeyes broke out to a 21-6 lead in just over 9 minutes, then went scoreless for more than 6 1/2 minutes.
The Wildcats went on a 9-0 run to narrow their deficit to six points, then didn’t score over the final 5:53.
Buford had nine points, Turner seven and Diebler six in the opening half for Ohio State, which hit seven of its first 12 shots from the field and only two of its last nine.
Northwestern, averaging just 11 turnovers a game, had nine in the first 20 minutes while hitting just 26 percent (6 of 23) of its shots from the field.
Ohio State starting center Dallas Lauderdale left the game in the first half after injuring his left shoulder. He was fouled by Coble with 3:47 left in the first half, the 6-foot-8 sophomore immediately running to the left baseline in pain and laying on the floor for several minutes before being helped to the locker room.
A team spokesman said Lauderdale sustained a left shoulder sprain — the same injury in the preseason, which caused him to miss the team’s exhibition games.
He did return briefly in the second half.
OHIO ST. 52, NORTHWESTERN 47
Shurna 0-1 0-0 0, Coble 6-13 0-0 13, Rowley 1-2 0-0 2, Moore 6-15 0-0 18, Thompson 4-8 2-3 12, Ryan 0-0 0-0 0, Mirkovic 0-4 0-0 0, Nash 1-3 0-0 2, Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-46 2-3 47.
OHIO STATE (20-9)
Turner 7-11 3-3 17, Lauderdale 0-1 0-0 0, Hill 1-2 0-0 3, Diebler 3-7 2-2 11, Buford 4-11 2-2 11, Simmons 0-3 0-0 0, Offutt 0-0 0-0 0, Madsen 0-0 0-0 0, Mullens 5-8 0-0 10. Totals 20-43 7-7 52.
Halftime—Ohio St. 25-15. 3-Point Goals—Northwestern 9-27 (Moore 6-15, Thompson 2-5, Coble 1-4, Mirkovic 0-1, Shurna 0-1, Nash 0-1), Ohio St. 5-17 (Diebler 3-7, Hill 1-2, Buford 1-3, Turner 0-2, Simmons 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Northwestern 26 (Moore, Rowley, Shurna 4), Ohio St. 25 (Buford 8). Assists—Northwestern 8 (Mirkovic, Thompson 2), Ohio St. 8 (Turner 5). Total Fouls—Northwestern 12, Ohio St. 7. A—19,049.