The last time Northwestern beat Ohio State in Columbus, Jimmy Carter was president.
That fact didn't change Tuesday night, as despite the Wildcats holding a 10-point lead in the first half, the Buckeyes roared back to hand the Cats their 34th straight loss in Columbus, this one coming by a final score of 71-63.
Northwestern let that 10-point first-half edge dwindle to seven at the half, but the Cats got back-to-back 3-pointers from Bryant McIntosh to boost the lead back out to nine early in the period. Again that advantage shrunk all the way down to two as Ohio State scored seven straight, but again it expanded, Northwestern answering with a 7-0 spurt of its own. But a 48-39 Cats lead around the midway point of the second half was erased when the Buckeyes went on a 15-2 run that turned the game around. Northwestern scored just two points during a five-and-a-half-minute stretch, allowing Ohio State to go from down nine to up four.
Tre Demps answered that run with a 3-pointer to bring the Cats back within a point, and a Scottie Lindsey 3 tied the game at 56 with under four minutes to play. But the Buckeyes scored five straight from there and hit a bunch of free throws down the stretch to keep the Cats at bay and hold on for the win. The Buckeyes were 16-for-17 from the free-throw line over the final 20 minutes.
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Thanks to a 46.4-percent mark in the second half, Ohio State out-shot Northwestern on the evening, 41.1 percent to 38.9 percent. The Cats turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 18 Buckeye points. That stands out in comparison to just five turnovers by the Buckeyes. Northwestern hit 12 3-pointers, twice as many as Ohio State, but the Buckeyes held a large 24-10 advantage in points in the paint.
Northwestern did have four players score in double figures: McIntosh and Demps each scored 14, Alex Olah had 11 and Lindsey finished with 10. Four Cats hit multiple 3-pointers, with McIntosh and Demps combining for seven makes from behind the arc.
Ohio State had five players in double figures: JaQuan Lyle had a game-high 16, Marc Loving had 15, Trevor Thompson scored 12, Keita Bates-Diop had 11 and Jae'Sean Tate had 10.
The Cats fell to 16-9 overall and 4-8 in Big Ten play with the loss and have lost six of their last seven. Next up is a Saturday-night bout with Illinois.
The Buckeyes improved to 15-10 overall and 7-5 in league play with the victory. Next up is a Saturday trip to Rutgers.