COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Scottie Lindsey said the fact that Northwestern won in Columbus for the first time in 40 years on Sunday was not a huge deal to him. What is huge is another important Big Ten win for the Wildcats, who are pushing for an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time in school history.
Lindsey scored 21 points and Bryant McIntosh had 17 as Northwestern (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten) beat Ohio State 74-72 for a fourth straight win.
“This team, history doesn’t define us,” Lindsey said. “The past things that have happened with this program, it doesn’t really matter to this team. We push through that type of stuff. We’ve been through a lot of tough games, a lot of close games. We’ve learned so much that we can go into hostile arenas and environments and pull out a win.”
Ohio State was within two points three times in the final minute of the game but weren’t able to overcome the Wildcats’ lead after being forced to start fouling.
The Buckeyes cut the lead to two points on a Micah Potter 3-pointer with 24 seconds left. But C.J. Jackson had to foul Vic Law, who sank both foul shots to make it 72-68. Marc Loving got it back to two with a layup with 10 seconds on the clock, but a pair of foul shots by Lindsey put Northwestern ahead by four. Potter got the final points for Ohio State with a dunk with one second left.
Law scored 10 points and Sanjay Lumpkin grabbed 11 rebounds as Northwestern won despite shooting just 37.5 percent. Ohio State committed 13 turnovers leading to 17 Northwestern points.
“It’s no secret, this has kind of been a house of horrors for us for a long time, especially since I’ve been here,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. “We haven’t had a lot of success in this building. Our guys were really determined today to try to come out and make the plays necessary to get a win.”
Jae’Sean Tate led Ohio State (12-8, 2-5) with 14 points, JaQuan Lyle added 13 and Trevor Thompson had 11 points and 15 rebounds. The Buckeyes shot 52.2 percent and outrebounded the Wildcats 40-39.
“It just leaves a bitter taste,” Thompson said of the errors and inconsistent effort Sunday after Ohio State had won two straight. “I would hope it leaves a bitter taste in all our mouths because how we’ve been playing coming up to this, then to play how we played and come out like we came out today is just mind-boggling.”
Northwestern took a 36-31 lead at the half after Ohio State had led by as many as six. A Lindsey layup tied it at 23 with 6:46 remaining, and Northwestern went on a 13-8 run from there to take the five-point lead.
Ohio State climbed back and took a 55-52 lead on a 3-pointer from Jackson with 8:41 left but couldn’t maintain it. After a foul shot from Thompson tied it at 56, Northwestern took the lead for good on a Lindsey 3-pointer with 4:32 to go.
Northwestern: Wins a tough game on the road despite not shooting well. Still on track for first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.
Ohio State: Inconsistent effort sinks Buckeyes deeper into the Big Ten abyss.
Jackson suffered an ankle injury and Kam Williams a thigh injury for Ohio State, but their status for Wednesday’s game hasn’t been determined.
Northwestern: Plays Nebraska at home Thursday night.