Comment
0
Tweet
0
Print
RSS Feeds

Ohio State beats Wisconsin for B10 title

Monday - 3/18/2013, 4:11am  ET

Ohio State players celebrate after winning an NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin in the championship of the Big Ten tournament Sunday, March 17, 2013, in Chicago. Ohio State won 50-43. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

JAY COHEN
AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- Deshaun Thomas kept shooting, determined to score enough to push weary Ohio State to the victory. Aaron Craft did a little bit of everything in the Big Ten tournament final.

This was one determined bunch of Buckeyes.

Thomas scored 17 points and No. 10 Ohio State used its stout defense to beat No. 22 Wisconsin 50-43 on Sunday for its conference-best fifth tournament title.

"We were challenging our guys every timeout, telling them, 'You've got one more gear. You've got one more gear,'" Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "Fortunately for us, we made some big plays and then finally knocked a couple shots down."

Thomas was 6 for 19 from the field, but made some big free throws down the stretch as Ohio State won the championship for the third time in the last four years. Craft, who was voted the most outstanding player of the tournament, had nine points and six rebounds, and LaQuinton Ross delivered a couple of huge plays.

"Well, we draw the line," Thomas said. "Coach told us in the huddle, the fatigue got to us, but got to let it all on the table and let it out, and that's what we did. We got our stops and we got guys who came in and hit big shots, and that's what this basketball team is all about."

The Buckeyes (26-7) were rewarded with a No. 2 seed in the West Region for the NCAA tournament and a second-round game in Dayton, Ohio, against Iona. Wisconsin is in the same region, with the fifth-seeded Badgers to play Ole Miss in their first game in Kansas City, Mo.

"Playing in Dayton, you can't get anything better," Craft said. "Buckeye Nation travels very well, especially when it's an hour down the road."

Traevon Jackson scored 10 points for the Badgers (23-11), who shot 38.3 percent from the field. None of his teammates reached double figures, with Sam Dekker next up at eight points.

"It's a disappointment," senior Ryan Evans said. "We definitely wanted to leave here with some hardware, but moving forward, we've got the NCAA tournament. It's a bigger thing, and I'm looking forward to that."

Wisconsin and Ohio State were close for most of the second half, but the Buckeyes seized on a cold spell by the Badgers to move in front down the stretch.

After Dekker scored on a reverse layup with 7:01 remaining, Wisconsin went scoreless for the next 4
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.