Written by Rich Swerbinsky

Rich Swerbinsky

 Buckeyes 56-53 Win Over Northwestern Clinches Share of Big Ten Title

One more win.  At home, Sunday, against last place Purdue.  One more win and the Ohio State Buckeyes will have improbably clinched their first outright Big Ten regular season title since 1992.

Yesterdays win over Northwestern clinched a share of the crown for the Buckeyes, but it didn’t come easy.  The Buckeyes trailed 53-52 with thirty seconds left in the game.  After almost throwing the ball away twice, junior guard Ron Lewis took matters into his own hands.  Lewis drove down the left side of the lane, banking in the eventual winner.  Lewis would then steal the inbounds pass, and get it to Je’Kel Foster, whose two free throws would seal it for Ohio State.

Northwestern slowed the pace, and played very hard all night, much like the teams last meeting, won 61-52 by the Buckeyes.  Once again, Ohio State was cold from outside, making just 6 of 24 from three point range.  And this was a Northwestern team that had already beaten Iowa and Wisconsin at home this season.  Terence Dials was once again great for the Bucks, finishing with 18 points and 7 rebounds.  Je’Kel Foster added 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.  Both Dials and Foster have a legitimate chance at Big Ten Player of the Year honors.

The win moved the #9 Buckeyes to 22-4 and 11-4 in the Big Ten.  Clinching a share of the division title means Buckeye head coach Thad Matta has now coached three different Division I schools to division crowns in the past six years, also accomplishing the task at Butler and Xavier.