COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Deshaun Thomas scored 22 points and No. 13 Ohio State used a late 12-0 run to beat Northwestern 69-59 on Thursday night, the Buckeyes' 32nd consecutive home win against the Wildcats.
Pesky Northwestern (13-12, 4-8) led throughout the second half despite having only seven scholarship players due to injuries.
No one would have been surprised to see the Buckeyes blow out the Wildcats. They held a 111-45 upper hand all-time against Northwestern, including 65-14 in home games.
Also, the Wildcats were wounded. They recently lost starter Jared Swopshire, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee after being hurt Feb. 9 at Iowa. Drew Crawford, who is on the cover of the media guide after averaging 16.1 points a game last season, has missed the entire season with a shoulder injury. Also sidelined are Sanjay Lumpkin (wrist), 7-foot-2 Chier Ajou (knee) and 7-0 Alex Olah (upper body).
Only seven scholarship players were available to coach Bill Carmody due to the injuries and another player lost to a disciplinary problem.
Western Illinois defeats North Dakota State
FARGO, N.D. -- Terell Parks scored 13 points and pulled down 15 rebounds Thursday night, helping Western Illinois dominate the second half of a 49-36 victory over North Dakota State and hold onto first place in the Summit League.
Adam Link had 14 points for the Leathernecks (19-5, 11-2), who stayed a half-game ahead of South Dakota State and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Bison (19-7, 10-4). Western Illinois plays at SDSU on Saturday.
NDSU closed the first half on a 10-0 run to lead 22-17 at halftime, but WIU scored 13 straight points just after halftime to go ahead for good. The Bison pulled within 35-31 on Alexander's free throws with 4:14 left, but the Leathernecks scored the next eight points to seal the victory.