Big Ten Basketball: No.1 Ohio State Avoid The Upset Against Northwestern
No. 1 ranked Ohio State visited Evanston, Ill. for a supposedly routine game.
OSU had been playing some great basketball and was ranked No. 1 while the Northwestern Wildcats didn't have a remarkable win coming into this match-up.
Surprisingly the Wildcats came out with a perimeter defense that neglected any attempt by Ohio St. of taking a three-point shot in the first half and helped NU stay in the game.
The Wildcats had the momentum for most of the half, seemingly being capable of shooting from anywhere on the field and crash the boards without a problem, but the Buckeyes managed to end the half winning by two points.
Thad Matta made adjustments at halftime and OSU play man-to-man defense forcing the Wildcats to make forced shots that rarely went in.
The change of strategy was definitely the game-changer and suddenly Ohio State was in control of the game and had a 13 point-lead.
However the Wildcats found a way to get back into the game with 4:30 still left to play; from the moment on neither had a bigger lead than two points.
Tied at 57, the game came down to the last 20 seconds. NU had possession of the ball, but David Lightly stole the ball and gave it to Jared Sullinger.
He was fouled and made a free-throw in the last three seconds to seal the win and keep the Buckeyes undefeated season alive.
This wasn't supposed to be thrilling match-up --and Ohio State must need to learn how to play against perimeter defense--but at the end both teams had a good game.
The outcome might have been different if John Shurna (The Wildcats best player, whom was out with an injury) had been on the court, yet Northwestern had the lead and momentum but didn't use it to their advantage.
Ohio State is now 22-0 (9-0) and will face Michigan next. Northwestern 13-8 (3-7) will now host Illinois and will try to break their three game losing-streak.
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