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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.

"I like the direction we are heading," said Ohio State coach Thad Matta. "This is historically where we have tried to play our best basketball. With the landscape of college basketball, who knows what is going to happen when you take the floor. That is why we have done everything we can to keep our focus on us, in terms of us getting better."

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 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.

"We had a very poor start to the second half," said Northwestern coach Chris Collins. "[Ohio State] made shots early, got out in transition a little bit and we had a number of fouls that put us in a tough spot. I sensed they turned up their defense a notch. I felt an extra burst of energy and aggressiveness."

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 Cerina from behind before the scrum was finally quelled.

Game Notes

Northwestern hosts Indiana on Saturday ... 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.

02/20 00:10:53 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
DET 109
PHI 103
Final
NOP 88
DAL 85
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
LAL
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
 
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
VT 6
MIAMI 30
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
SFLA
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
TROY
9:00pm Tonight
BSU
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
OREG
Final
BOS 2
NYI 3
Final
DET 4
PIT 3
Final
MIN 2
ARI 0
Final
NAS 3
CHI 2
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
Final
LOS 2
BUF 0
Final
SJS 4
CLB 5
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
VAN
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CLB
 
Final
DEN 35
SDC 21