Ohiost 29 34 63
Nwestern 22 31 53
Date of game: 2/28/2013

Recap: Northwestern vs. Ohio State

Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - Lenzelle Smith Jr. led all players with a season-high 24 points and shot 6-of-11 from 3-point range as No. 16 Ohio State pulled away late to take a 63-53 decision over Northwestern, on Thursday.

Deshaun Thomas netted 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Buckeyes (21-7, 11-5 Big Ten), who have won three straight and eight consecutive contests in the series versus Northwestern.

"It just makes us a little bit more athletic and Deshaun (Thomas) had a really good idea of what we were trying to do defensively." Ohio State coach Thad Matta said of his team's lineup. "They were packing it in so we weren't getting a ton from that position on the offensive end. Then defensively they were playing, in essence, four guards out there and I just thought we matched really well."

Tre Demps paced Northwestern with 14 points and Dave Sobolewski added 13 for the Wildcats (13-16, 4-12), who have lost six straight and eight of their last nine games overall. Kale Abrahamson donated nine points and nine boards in the defeat.

Reggie Hearn put the Cats ahead by one with a deep trey with just over four minutes remaining. OSU, though, responded with a 9-2 swing which put the contest out of reach for the upset-minded Wildcats.

Smith's triple kicked off the run, then Aaron Craft quickly added to it with a jumper to put the Buckeyes ahead 53-49 with 3:07 remaining. Thomas added four straight OSU points as the contest winded down, sandwiched in between an Alex Olah jumper, but by that point, it was already 57-51 with 1:24 to play.

"I liked the way we battled back and went ahead with different guys contributing," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. "We just weren't able to make plays and their defense anticipated some plays and made some steals ... We just turned it over a few times at the wrong times."

Ohio State scored the first four points of the second half, but Northwestern utilized a 12-3 surge to get within 36-34. Around the midway point of the half, Abrahamson's fadeaway 3-pointer made it 41-40 giving the home team its first lead of the contest.

Ohio State jumped out to a 24-13 lead with seven-plus minutes remaining in the first half. The Wildcats, however, closed the gap to 29-22 at the break.

Smith shot lights out in the first 20 minutes of play, and had 14 points on 4- of-5 shooting from behind the arc.

Game Notes

Winston cleared of FSU conduct violations

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was found not to have violated the university's conduct code over allegations that he sexually assaulted a fellow student in December 2012.

NFL flexes Bengals-Steelers into primetime for Week 17

The NFL announced Sunday night that the AFC North showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers will be the NBC primetime game for Week 17.

Giants acquire McGehee from Marlins

The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Casey McGehee from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league pitchers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo.

Vancouver's Hansen collapses on bench

Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen collapsed on the bench during the second period of Saturday's game against the Calgary Flames and had to be helped to the locker room.

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