Ohio St. 72, Northwestern 71
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Rick Yudt, held out of the starting lineup because of an injured thumb, hit a 15-foot jumper with 2 seconds left to give Ohio State a 72-71 victory over Northwestern Wednesday night.
Yudt, who reentered the game with 12.1 seconds remaining, took an assist pass from Damon Stringer and swished it under heavy pressure.
It was Ohio State’s first lead since a 7-5 advantage three minutes into the game.
After calling timeout with .9 seconds left, Northwestern threw a long pass to Evan Eschmeyer but his off-balance shot from the left baseline was short as the buzzer sounded.
Yudt, Ohio State’s second-leading scorer before injuring his thumb, finished with seven points in 13 minutes. He had gone scoreless and played just one minute in Ohio State’s last game, an 81-53 loss at Iowa a week ago.
Stringer had a career-high 24 points for the Buckeyes, 8-5 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten. Jami Bosley added 10 points.
Geno Carlisle scored 18 points, Craig Duerksen 13 and Eschmeyer and Jevon Johnson each had 10 for Northwestern, 5-8 and 0-4.
The victory snapped a four-game Ohio State losing skid and extended the Wildcats’ string of losses to five. Northwestern has lost 19 of its last 21 meetings with Ohio State and hasn’t won in Columbus since 1977.
Northwestern led by as many as 13 points in the first half before settling for a 40-31 advantage when the Buckeyes scored four points in the last 18 seconds.
The teams traded baskets at the outset of the second half before Ohio State ran off 10 in a row _ five apiece by Stringer and Don Jantonio _ to cut the lead to 48-46.
The Wildcats went up by five only to have Ohio State pull even at 53 on a Stringer 3-pointer at the 12:32 mark. Northwestern went back up by six points with 5:26 left on a pair of Duerksen free throws and was still on top 71-68 after a Carlisle foul shot with 1:49 remaining.
But Jantonio, who had a career-high nine points, hit two free throws with 1:26 left. Nate Pomeday and Carlisle each missed shots for the Wildcats in the last minute _ the latter giving Ohio State the ball with 12.1 seconds left.
Yudt was inserted into the lineup for Jantonio during a timeout. Stringer took the inbounds pass and brought the ball downfloor, dribbling around a pick at the top of the key and then flipping the ball to the right wing to Yudt for the winning shot.