Columbus, Ohio — Ohio State badly needed a win over Northwestern to stay teetering on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
The Buckeyes overcame a sluggish start and found their footing in the second half to pull away from Northwestern 63-49 on Wednesday night behind Kaleb Wesson's 22 points and eight rebounds.
Kyle Young and Duane Washington Jr. each added eight points off the bench for the Buckeyes (17-9, 7-8 Big Ten), who snapped a two-game losing streak and stayed on the bubble for now with five regular-season games remaining — four against teams ranked in the AP Top 25.
"I think we knew we really needed this game," Washington said.
Northwestern (12-14, 3-12) lost its seventh in a row and hasn't managed a win since the middle of January.
After an ugly first half by both sides, Ohio State made seven of its first 10 shots to start the second half. The Wildcats kept it close with decent defense until C.J. Jackson and Wesson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Ohio State up by 10 with nearly nine minutes left, and the Buckeyes cruised from there.
Vic Law led Northwestern with 10 points, and A.J. Turner added nine.
The teams combined for just three points in the first four minutes of the game, and the first half ended with Ohio State holding on to a 24-20 lead. Northwestern shot just 29.2 percent for the half, and the Buckeyes weren't much better (37.5 percent).
Ohio State made 53 percent of its shots in the second half to open up the lead, finishing at 46 percent for the game compared with 31.6 for Northwestern.
Central Michigan 92, (at) Bowling Green 54: The Chippewas (19-6, 10-3 MAC) raced out to a 52-29 halftime lead and never looked back. Presley Hudson had 24 points and nine assists, and Reyna Frost had 21 points and 20 rebounds. For Bowling Green (8-16, 1-12), Morgan McMillen and Andrea Cecil each scored 14.
(At) Eastern Michigan 67, Akron 60: Courtnie Lewis had 15 points, Danielle Minott scored 13 and Autumn Hudson had 11 rebounds for the Eagles (12-12, 5-8). For Akron (14-10, 5-8), Megan Sefcik scored 27.
Kent State 56, (at) Western Michigan 52: Deja Wimby had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Jasmyn Walker added 11 rebounds for the Broncos (8-16, 2-11) in the loss. For Kent State (15-9, 8-5), Megan Carter had 22 points.
Top 25 men
(At) No. 11 Marquette 79, Butler 69: Markus Howard scored 28 points and Theo John added 15 points and 11 rebounds as Marquette pulled away in the second half for the win. Marquette (22-4, 11-2 Big East) erased an eight-point deficit early in the second half with a 25-7 run. Sean McDermott had 27 points and Kamar Baldwin 12 for Butler (15-12, 6-8).
Florida 82, (at) No. 13 LSU 77 (OT): Kevaughn Allen highlighted a 21-point performance with a pair of 3-pointers late in overtime, and Florida (15-11, 7-6 SEC) beat LSU (21-5, 11-2). Jalen Hudson and Noah Locke scored 15 for Florida, which has won three straight on the heels of competitive losses to Kentucky, Tennessee and Auburn.
(At) Georgetown 85, No. 17 Villanova 73: Jessie Govan had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Mac McClung scored 21 and Georgetown (16-10, 6-7 Big East) yoset Villanova (20-7, 11-3), snapping a nine-game losing streak against the Wildcats.
(At) Syracuse 69, No. 18 Louisville 49: Elijah Hughes scored 18 and Oshae Brissett had 16 to lead four players in double figures as Syracuse n(18-8, 9-4 ACC) beat Louisville (18-9, 9-5). Syracuse found its mark from behind the arc against Louisville, hitting 11 3-pointers and holding the Cardinals in check throughout.
Indiana AD chides fans
Indiana athletic director Fred Glass called the profane chant directed at Purdue center Matt Haarms during Tuesday night’s game “embarrassing.”
Haarms drew the crowd’s wrath when he locked arms with Indiana’s De’Ron Davis. After Haarms landed on the court, the refs assessed a foul to each player late in the first half
The Hoosiers’ student section continued booing Haarms throughout the game and broke into the chant multiple times — something Haarms acknowledged motivated him.
Haarms’ tie-breaking tip-in with 3.2 seconds left was the difference in Purdue’s 48-46 victory. Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said he did not hear the chant, but Glass did and wasn’t happy about it.
In a three-paragraph statement sent to students Wednesday, Glass thanked them for showing up and cheering hard but noted it “reflected poorly on you and Indiana University.”
“Knock off the profane chants, and please help those around you to do the same,” he said. “You and Indiana University are better than that.”