COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Evan Turner keyed a fast start with five of his 20 points and No. 21 Ohio State never trailed in rolling past Northwestern 76-56 on Tuesday night.
Turner, who flirted with a triple-double with 13 rebounds and eight assists, led the way in a 7-0 run to open the game for the Buckeyes (14-5, 4-3 Big Ten) and became only the second Ohio State player (joining Jimmy Jackson) to have 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists.
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Jon Diebler added 17 points and Dallas Lauderdale had a career-high 14 for Ohio State, which has won the last 30 times it has hosted the Wildcats, dating to 1977.
John Shurna had 22 points and Drew Crawford 11 for Northwestern (13-5, 2-4), which played its third straight game against a ranked opponent. The Wildcats beat No. 6 Purdue 72-64 on Saturday, the highest-ranked team they had beaten in 31 years.
At one point in the second half, the Wildcats hit 8 of 10 shots from the field but had cut just three points off what was a 23-point deficit at the break.
The Wildcats hit 9 of 23 3-pointers – they’re in the top 10 in the nation in shots made and attempted behind the arc – but never had an answer inside against the more aggressive Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes broke out to a quick lead on a Turner jumper and a 3 sandwiched around Diebler’s fast-break layup.
While Northwestern had difficulty getting space to shoot at the offensive end, the Buckeyes were at their best. They hit their first seven shots from the field while taking a 17-3 lead. After the Wildcats got as close as 10 points, the Buckeyes ran off 14 of the next 18 to go up 31-11.
Ohio State, now 12-0 at home this season, led 40-17 at the half with William Buford contributing three highlight-reel quality tomahawk dunks.
The Wildcats, which had outrebounded Purdue 42-23, didn’t get a rebound in the opening 9:15. Ohio ended up with a 35-27 upper-hand on the boards.
The game was held up briefly about 3 minutes in after Shurna’s 3-point attempt from the left corner bounded high over the backboard and lodged in a brace at the top. Turner laughed as he pretended to jump the 13 or so feet to tap it free. It took a couple of tries with a long-handled broom by David Lighty to finally free the ball, causing the crowd to cheer.