Thomas scores 22, Ohio State escapes upset, 69-59
By RUSTY MILLER
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Usually, the two certainties at Ohio State each winter are snow and a win whenever Northwestern comes to town.
For 37 minutes that certainly wasn't the case Thursday night.
Deshaun Thomas scored 11 of his 22 points in the last 7 minutes and the 13th-ranked Buckeyes used a late 12-0 run to hold off the short-handed Wildcats 69-59.
It was their 32nd consecutive home win against the Wildcats, dating o Feb. 24, 1977 - when another big underdog, "Rocky," would win the Oscar for Best Picture and Jimmy Carter was in the White House.
But it certainly didn't come easy.
"I'm not one for big meetings and speeches," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. "I just said, `You guys have been in a lot of situations where you're underdogs and no one thought you had a chance. Go out there and play your tails off and if you do that, you get people's respect. I thought they did that."
They certainly did.
The Wildcats (13-12, 4-8 Big Ten), with just seven healthy scholarship players, led by six points in the first half, by four with under 7 minutes left and were dead even with a ranked opponent on its own court with just over 3 minutes remaining.
"We got down five there at 48-43, but I told the players, `You can't panic,'" Ohio State (18-6, 8-4) coach Thad Matta said.. "It was all going to come down to our defense."
The defense did its job, limiting the Wildcats - who were 11 of 26 on 3-pointers - to no long-distance shots in the waning moments.
Thomas did the rest.
Ohio State rallied by scratching and clawing inside and on the boards for points, finally grabbing a lead.
Tre Demps, who was 4 of 6 behind the arc in scoring 16 points for Northwestern, drilled one from the right wing to tie it again with 3:24 remaining as an uneasy crowd of 15,842 at Value City Arena held its collective breath.
But then Thomas scored in traffic and drew the fifth foul on Kale Abrahamson with 3:03 left.
Reggie Hearn, who added 12 points for the Wildcats, drove from the left side and his shot, which could have tied it, instead sat tantalizingly on the back of the iron for a full 2 seconds before finally falling off.
At the other end, Aaron Craft, who had seven points, three rebounds and six assists, then drove through the heart of the Northwestern defense and, shifting hands in midair, flipped in a left-handed layup to push the lead to 61-57 with 1:52 remaining.
"I found a lane and I was able to get it up on the backboard and usually that's very friendly," Craft said. "I beat the shot clock and fortunately it went in. We were doing a great job of rebounding. Even if I would have missed it we had guys in position to rebound the ball anyway."
Now the Wildcats, who had frustrated Ohio State's defense all game by making from the perimeter, could not find the range. After another miss, Thomas was fouled - Mike Turner's fifth - and he banged in both free throws. Sam Thompson then added two baskets in the final minute before Thomas made two more foul shots to complete the 12-point assault.
"Coach just told me to post up. Instead of being in the mid-post, go down low. If you notice, I played the 5. I haven't played the 5 since high school," Thomas said when asked how he broke out of a shooting slump in which he hit just 2 of his first 10 shots from the field. "It just freed me up. We got open on the post and Shannon (Scott) and Craft looked for me and I got a couple of easy buckets and that got me going."
Updated February 14, 2013
In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
Joe Castiglione talked with John Lackey after he picked up the W against the Twins. Lackey threw seven innings, and retired the 1st twelve batters of the game.
Dave O'Brien talked to John Farrell before the end of the Twins series. The Sox skipper said that Big Papi's success is no surprise given his work ethic.
John Farrell postgame press conference
Dale and DJ roll on with their puck talk and chat some more about the goalie matchup in this series, as well as the lack of a quality power play for both of these teams. In fact, DJ says the Rangers are even worse on the PP than the B’s! The guys also get into the resurgence of Milan Lucic and his deceptive speed and grit. Dale and DJ talk about the similar styles of play for these teams and look forward to Game 2.
Dale and DJ get into the two coaches and their polar opposite styles and demeanor. Both teams play a similar style, but the coaches certainly convey their messages in a different way. Dale isn't buying the Tortorella hype and thinks he's a little overrated. DJ thinks he's a good coach, but isn't a fan of anti-media stance. The guys also talk about Jagr and how he has not lived up to the hype. They weren't expecting him to light it up or be the savior, but DJ says he wasn't prepared for just how slow the aging veteran is. Another big topic for B's fans this season is the play of Tyler Seguin and why he has yet to become the superstar everyone anticipates he will be. This leads to Claude Julien's style and if he does actually have something against the younger players. That Iginla trade shows its ugly head again as well.
WEEI.com's DJ Bean joins Dale in studio for Sports Sunday to discuss the Bruins playoff run. Game 2 is later today and the guys discuss the results of the first game of the series. They get into the construction of the lines for the B's and if they would make any changes. DJ has a few ideas for the lines today. The boys also discuss the two goalies - Tuukka vs Henrik Lundqvist and wonder why people automatically think the Rangers have the edge at goalie. Finally, they get into the legacy and the decisions of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
Millar joins the show to discuss the recent Sox slide, Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of power, and hitting in the big leagues.
Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
We tackle four topics we haven't yet touched upon today.. Joe Thornton and disappointing former Boston athletes, parking in Boston, buying jersey numbers and more...
We talk about the report that Rob Gronkowski may now be a candidate for back surgery with a disc problem. Is Gronk just an injury prone guy? Or is he not rehabbing proberly? Can the Pats build an offense around a guy who is so inconsistently on the field? We discuss.
The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
Today on the Daily Planet the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead, the Red Sox get a run-off win, and we hear about cannibals and bible thieves.
Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
Linda explains how the shootout transpired in Watertown during the early morning hours. She saw the first suspect mortally wounded and police beginning the manhunt for the second suspect.More from this show
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.More from this show
Buster Olney joins the show to discuss the muddled AL East, the average play of Ellsbury and how that will affect him in free agency, and Tropicana Field.More from this show
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.More from this show