COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the middle of the hand-to-hand combat that is a typical Wisconsin-Ohio State game, Deshaun Thomas took over.
Thomas scored 25 points, including 10 during a game-breaking, 15-point second-half run, to lead the 11th-ranked Buckeyes past the Badgers 58-49 on Tuesday night.
That’s easily the best player we’ve played because of how he can get his own shots, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. Thomas is good. He was tough on the two-point jump shots – real tough – and around the basket. He can attack. He’s so strong.
The 6-foot-7 junior, averaging 20 points, hit 10 of 17 attempts from the field including a variety of step-back jumpers, slashes through the lane and shots he muscled over defenders. He also had four assists in what coach Thad Matta called his finest game with the Buckeyes.
Without a doubt, this is probably right there at the top just because of his overall effectiveness, Matta said. He was also very good defensively as well.
Wisconsin (14-7, 5-3 Big Ten) had controlled the tempo with deliberate passing.
With Ohio State trailing 41-39 with 11:26 left, Thomas, a Bishop Luers graduate, took over.
During the 15-0 run that went from the 13:01 mark to under 6 minutes left, the Badgers were 0 for 7 from the field with three turnovers.
Traevon Jackson, the son of Buckeyes great Jimmy Jackson, led the Badgers with 12 points.
INDIANA ST. 68, No. 15 WICHITA ST. 55: In Wichita, Kan., Manny Arop scored 17 points, including a celebratory slam in the final minute, and the Sycamores (14-7, 7-3 Missouri Valley) snapped the Shockers’ 19-game home winning streak.
Cleanthony Early had 15 points and Demetric Williams added 14 for first-place Wichita State (19-3, 8-2).
KENTUCKY 87, No. 16 MISSISSIPPI 74: In Oxford, Miss., Kyle Wiltjer scored a career-high 26 points and Nerlens Noel set a school record with 12 blocked shots for the Wildcats (14-6, 5-2 Southeastern Conference).
VIRGINIA 58, No. 19 N.C. STATE 55: In Charlottesville, Va., Joe Harris scored 22 points, seven during a game-ending 13-6 run, and the Cavaliers (15-5, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) upended the Wolfpack for their fourth straight win.
No. 23 MINNESOTA 84, NEBRASKA 65: In Minneapolis, Rodney Williams snapped out of a funk to score 23 points and the Golden Gophers (16-5, 4-4 Big Ten) got a much-needed confidence boost.
Ray Gallegos scored 30 points for Nebraska (11-11, 2-7).
TAYLOR 68, SAINT FRANCIS 56: Josh Hogan scored 16 points for the Cougars in a home loss. Saint Francis shot 38.6 percent from the floor. Scott Kohne had 11 points and seven rebounds for Saint Francis (15-10, 7-6 Crossroads League).
SPRING ARBOR 74, GRACE 60: In Winona Lake, Karl Columbus had 21 points and eight rebounds for Grace in a home loss. Bruce Grimm Jr. had 10 points for the Lancers (17-7, 9-4 Crossroads League).
INDIANA WESLEYAN 61, HUNTINGTON 58: In Marion, Shane Merryman had 23 points and eight rebounds for the Foresters in a road loss. Colin Featherston added nine points for Huntington (12-13, 3-10 Crossroads League).
INDIANA TECH 75, CONCORDIA 56: In Ann Arbor, Mich., Antonio Cannon had 28 points for the Warriors. Antonio Landers had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Indiana Tech (18-6, 11-5 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference). Jordan Hickman had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
No. 3 UCONN 76, VILLANOVA 43: In Hartford, Conn., Stefanie Dolson scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Huskies (19-1, 6-1 Big East) ran away with the game in the first half.
WEST VIRGINIA 67, No. 19 OKLAHOMA ST. 61: In Stillwater, Okla., Christal Caldwell scored 21 points and Averee Fields added 19 to help the Mountaineers (12-8, 4-5 Big 12) knock off Oklahoma State (15-4, 4-4).
No. 25 DELAWARE 77 NORTHEASTERN 50: In Newark, Del., Elena Delle Donne scored 26 points as the Blue Hens (16-3, 7-0) won their 11th game in a row and 26th consecutive Colonial Athletic Association regular-season contest.