D.J. Carton led four Ohio State players in double figures with 17 points off the bench as the Buckeyes defeated Northwestern 71-59 at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill., on Sunday.
Justin Ahrens also came off the bench to score a season-high 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range for the Buckeyes (13-7, 3-6 Big Ten). Ohio State had lost six of its previous seven.
Miller Kopp had 20 points -- 15 in the first half -- for the Wildcats (6-13, 1-8), who have lost four straight and nine of 10 since a 5-4 start.
Brothers Kaleb Wesson and Andre Wesson each had 11 points for Ohio State.
Andre Wesson wore No. 5 in high school in suburban Columbus but he switched to 24 to start his OSU career because he committed to the Buckeyes on April 13, 2016, the same day Kobe Bryant retired. Bryant was killed Sunday morning when a helicopter he was in crashed in Southern California.
The Buckeyes were ahead 57-51 when Kaleb Wesson went to the bench with his fourth foul with 7:35 to play, but they increased their lead to 69-56 with three minutes left on a 3-pointer by Duane Washington Jr..
OSU was able to extend a 38-35 halftime advantage to a 55-46 lead thanks to a 3-pointer from Ahrens, and were never seriously threatened again from there.
Northwestern jumped to a 9-2 lead as the Buckeyes missed seven of their first eight shorts. Ohio State took a 23-19 lead with 6:39 left in the half when Andre Wesson made four free throws, the last two after a technical was assessed to Wildcats coach Chris Collins.
The Buckeyes later went on an 11-3 run to extend their lead to 36-26 before Northwestern closed the gap heading into the break.
The Buckeyes host Indiana next Saturday, looking to avenge a 66-54 loss in Bloomington, Ind., on Jan. 11.
Northwestern plays at No. 11 Michigan State on Wednesday. The Wildcats lost 77-72 at home to the Spartans on Dec. 18.
--Field Level Media