Smith, Thomas power No. 15 Buckeyes to win

Lenzelle Smith scored a season-high 24 points, Deshaun Thomas added 19 and No. 15 Ohio State used a late run to beat Northwestern 63-53 on Thursday night.

The Buckeyes (21-7, 11-5 Big Ten) moved one-half game ahead of Michigan and took sole possession of fourth place in the Big Ten with another difficult win over a team that’s given it fits in recent years. See the full box score.

Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get video, stats and recaps in this post.

[ BOX | AP RECAP | SCORES | ALL PHOTOS | CONNECT | RAPID RECAPS | B1G DUNKS ]

FINAL: No. 15 Ohio State took the lead with 3:47 remaining on a field goal by Lenzelle Smith, Jr. and hung on for a 63-53 win over Northwestern on Thursday at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston. Down 49-48, Ohio State (21-7) broke out for a 15-4 run to take a 10-point lead with 16 seconds remaining.

Smith, Jr. sparked the Buckeyes, as he scored 24 points, hauled in six rebounds, shot 7-of-12 from the field, and went 6-of-10 from beyond the arc in the win. Ohio State went 13-of-23 from the charity stripe as a team (57 percent). The Buckeyes shared the ball to the tune of 15 assists on 21 baskets.

Ohio State also got a double-digit effort from Deshaun Thomas (19 points). Kale Abrahamson contributed nine points and corralled nine rebounds for Northwestern (13-16) in a losing effort. The Wildcats were hot from long range, hitting 8-of-19 threes for a 42 percent night from beyond the arc. Northwestern got double-figure scoring from Dave Sobolewski (13 points) and Tre Demps (14 points). The Wildcats have now lost their last six games.

HALFTIME: Lenzelle Smith, Jr. scored 14 points for No. 15 Ohio State in the first half to carry the Buckeyes to a 29-22 lead over Northwestern. Ohio State never trailed in the first half and led by as many as 12 points. The Wildcats moved the ball in the first half, accounting for five assists on seven field goals. The Buckeyes shot 5-of-12 from beyond the arc in the first half (42 percent). Ohio State shared the ball, finishing with eight assists on 10 field goals in the first half. Northwestern’s Dave Sobolewski had a big first half, with 10 points.

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Dave Sobolewski drives for a late layup in the first half.

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Kale Abrahamson made a crazy three-point jumper.

EDITOR’S NOTE In partnership with Narrative Science, BTN.com posts fast recaps after every half of every Big Ten men’s basketball game. Use the links above for more info on this specific game.

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