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Jan. 13, 2001

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Brian Brown hit two late free throws and Minnesota%^$missed a pair of 3-point shots in the final seconds as Ohio State, which nearly%^$blew a 23-point lead, held on to beat the Golden Gophers 75-72 on Saturday.%^$

Ohio State (11-5, 2-1 Big Ten) led 48-25 with just over 15 minutes left and%^$was still on top by 12 with under 3 minutes remaining. Kevin Burleson and%^$Michael Bauer each hit 3-pointers to draw Minnesota (13-3, 1-2) to 73-72 with%^$33.9 seconds left.%^$

Brown, who scored 11 points, made two foul shots with 24.1 seconds left.%^$

The Gophers brought the ball down court and John-Blair Bickerstaff’s shot%^$inside was blocked by Ohio State’s Ken Johnson with 14 seconds remaining. After%^$an Ohio State turnover, Dusty Rychart’s 3-point attempt from the top of key%^$bounced off the left side of the rim but Bickerstaff rebounded and passed back%^$to Rychart, who had moved over to the left wing. He again missed, with Johnson%^$grabbing the rebound as time expired.%^$

Rychart, listed as Minnesota’s center, came into the game 3-of-14 behind the%^$arc this season.%^$

Sean Connolly scored 15 points – all on 3-pointers – to lead Ohio State,%^$which had lost its last two games. Boban Savovic had 14 points, Johnson 13 and%^$Zach Williams 10.%^$

Terrance Simmons had 21 of his 27 points in the second half for the Gophers,%^$who had won nine of their last 10 games. Bauer had 15 points and Burleson 12.%^$

Ohio State led 39-22 at the half, forcing 13 Minnesota turnovers and%^$outrebounding the Gophers 16-11.%^$

Down 10-7 at the 14:02 mark of the first half, the Buckeyes took command%^$with a 21-2 run. Johnson, Savovic and Connolly each scored six points in the%^$run. Connolly almost bookended the spurt with 3-pointers, hitting a shot behind%^$the arc to give Ohio State the lead for good at 13-10, and then capping it with%^$another 3 with 5:31 left for a 28-12 lead.%^$

Johnson had 13 points for the Buckeyes at the break, who were 11-of-16 in%^$free throws. Minnesota never got a foul shot.%^$

The Gophers were 15-of-21 at the line in the second half, while Ohio State%^$finished 23-of-30.%^$

The Buckeyes had 15 turnovers in the second half.