Ohio State takes care of Northwestern
Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - LaQuinton Ross had 16 points and six rebounds before being ejected late in the game, leading No. 24 Ohio State to a 76-60 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday.
Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 14 points apiece while the latter grabbed 10 rebounds for the Buckeyes (21-6, 8-6 Big Ten), who have won six of their last eight.
Drew Crawford scored a game-high 22 points and Tre Demps added 14 for Northwestern (12-15, 5-9), which has lost four straight.
The game opened up back-and-forth until a Sanjay Lumpkin layup sparked a 13-1 surge for Northwestern to give it a 25-16 advantage with 7:19 minutes left in the first half.
Ohio State, however, closed out the half with a 21-8 tear and carried a 37-33 lead into the break.
The Buckeyes stayed hot to open the second half and outscored the Wildcats 24-7 and took a 61-40 advantage halfway through the final frame.
The Wildcats never came within double digits following the Buckeyes' run.
Ross and Nikola Cerina were both ejected with 5:24 left to play for their participation in a scuffle between the teams.
Amir Williams and Cerina battled for position under the Northwestern basket. The rebound didn't come to them, but Williams and Cerina stayed locked up and that eventually ensued into a shoving match.
It looked as if Cerina threw a punch at Williams before the referees broke them apart and as the players arrived to defend their teammates, the skirmish appeared to be calming down. However, Ross pushed a Northwestern player from behind before the scrum was finally quelled.
Northwestern hosts Indiana on Staurday ... The Buckeyes have won nine straight in the series and 26 of 27 since 1998-99 ... Ohio State hosts Minnesota on Saturday ... Ohio State shot 23-for-29 from the charity stripe , while the Wildcats went 9-for-14.
02/19 22:43:29 ET