Ohio State and Northwestern get scrappy, two ejected
Ohio State and Northwestern got into a little scuffle during the seconf half of Wednesday night's game.
Ohio State Buckeyes forward LaQuinton Ross (10) and Northwestern Wildcats guard/forward Drew Crawford (1) are separated by officials and teammates at the Schottenstein Center. Ohio State won the game 76-60.
By Henry Green
With his team trailing late in Wednesday night's game against Ohio State, Northwestern's Nikola Cerina let frustration get the better of him and turned the game in Columbus into something out of WWE.
Some people just can't take getting manhandled on a box-out! But then again, this is Big Ten basketball and things are going to get physical.
Ohio State was up 66-50 with 5:24 to play when Cerina threw a punch at Amir Williams and whiffed. Nonetheless, Cerina was ejected from the game. LaQuinton Ross came into the fray late pushing two Northwestern players and earning him an ejection, as well. A total of 10 free throws were shot because of the dust-up — a double foul, two technicals against Ross and one against Cerina.
"By rule, No. 45 [Nikola Cerina] for Northwestern after he committed the common foul, a push on No. 23 [Amir Williams], took a swing with a closed fist or closed hand at No. 23 for Ohio State. That act is deemed to be fighting by rule, which is Rule 10, Section 5, Article 8: 'Any time an individual uses a closed fist in an unsportsmanlike manner it shall be deemed that the individual has initiated a fighting act and be penalized accordingly.' He does not have to make contact — the fact he swings with a closed fist is deemed to be a fighting act. No. 45 for Northwestern was disqualified for fighting and that carries a penalty [Rule 10, Section 5, Article 11]: 'The first time an individual participates in a fight during the season the individual shall be suspended from participating in the team's next regular season game.' No. 10 [LaQuinton Ross] for Ohio State was disqualified for two deadball contact technical fouls, which results in disqualification. No. 10 was not disqualified for fighting and will not be suspended for the next game."
After the game, Cerina spoke with reporters.
"Things happen," Cerina said, according to The Associated Press. "I don't really know. I have to look at the tape and see what actually happened."
Ross was not available to speak with reporters, according to The Associated Press.
But Northwestern coach Chris Collins was, and said it could have been much worse:
"I didn't see it," Collins told The Associated Press. "I saw a lot of bodies. Sometimes you see a lot of pushing and grabbing. I personally didn't see any punches, but that doesn't mean there weren't any thrown. I trust what the referees said. They got the fouls on us, the fouls on them — and then we played on."
Especially when you consider what happened with 2:51 to play.
With emotions apparently still raw, Ohio State's Aaron Craft was shoved from behind on a breakaway by the Wildcats' JerShon Cobb. Cobb was not ejected, but was assessed an intentional foul.