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.
The last time a Northwestern team had won in Columbus was Feb. 24, 1977 - when the original Star Wars was up for best picture and the Cincinnati Reds reigned as World Series champs.
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.