The Northwestern Wildcats were expected to have a tough time keeping up with the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes on Wednesday evening, and that proved to be true in a brutal 81-54 defeat in Columbus. The Wildcats kept things at least somewhat competitive for most of the first half, but the Buckeyes ran away with things late in the game.
After Northwestern cut Ohio State's lead down to 13 points a few minutes into the second half, the Buckeyes went on a big run to run away with things again. Ohio State had a 23-4 run in the first half to gain their initial lead, and a 19-6 run in the midst of the second half prevented the Wildcats from really making things competitive.
Ohio State simply outplayed Northwestern on Wednesday, limiting the Wildcats to making just 32 percent of their shots. Northwestern's big scorers, John Shurna and Drew Crawford, scored just 24 combined points on 9-for-30 shooting. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, got strong games from their star players. William Buford came up with 28 points and 9 rebounds and Jared Sullinger finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way for Ohio State.
The loss drops Northwestern to 10-3 on the year as they've now lost consecutive games to ranked opponents. Before Wednesday's loss, the Wildcats were defeated by then-No. 21 Creighton on Dec. 22. Ohio State, on the other hand, moves to 13-1 on the year. The Buckeyes have won five straight games since losing to Kansas on Dec. 10.
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