COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -Jason Bohannon came off the bench to score 16 points and No. 11 Wisconsin relied on its stout defense to hold off Ohio State 58-53 on Sunday.
The victory kept the Badgers (23-4, 13-2) tied with Purdue and Indiana for the Big Ten lead.
Wisconsin used a late 9-0 run to take the lead and then held Ohio State without a point over the final 3:15.
Michael Flowers had 14 points and Marcus Landry 10 for the Badgers.
Jamar Butler, Ohio State’s captain and leading scorer, was held out of the starting lineup because of what was termed a “coach’s decision.”
Butler led the Buckeyes (17-10, 8-6) with 14 points with Kosta Koufos adding 10 points and 10 rebounds. Ohio State has lost four of its last six.
Butler, a senior point guard, had started the last 95 games for Ohio State. He had expressed some frustration with the younger Buckeyes’ up-and-down play lately, but had been putting in 40 minutes a game. He was replaced by freshman Jon Diebler.
The Buckeyes led 49-47 after Diebler hit a 3-pointer at the 8:34 mark, but the Badgers retook the lead with a nine-point burst.
Flowers evened things when he stole the ball and scored on a layup. After Butler missed a 3, Bohannon arched a long 3 from in front of the bench for a 52-49 Wisconsin lead.
Flowers then hit a midrange jumper and Landry hit a pair of foul shots to make it 56-49 while the Buckeyes fired up errant 3s. They missed four shots in a row and had a turnover during the Badgers’ run.
A drive by Evan Turner and two Butler free throws cut Ohio State’s deficit to 56-53, but the Buckeyes could never get a clutch shot to fall. They missed their next four shots – one was blocked by Butch on an inbounds play.
On their final try at tying the game, Butler hurried to get off a long 3-pointer than missed the rim and went out of bounds with 18 seconds left.
The victory kept the Badgers atop the Big Ten along with Indiana and Purdue heading into the final two weeks of the regular season. Wisconsin, which won its fourth in a row, has games remaining against Michigan State and Penn State at home, and at Northwestern.
Purdue still plays Minnesota and Northwestern at home and at Ohio State and Michigan, while Indiana – which had head coach Kelvin Sampson take a buyout and step down on Friday in the face of allegations he lied about NCAA infractions – has games at home against Ohio State and Minnesota and at Michigan State and Penn State.