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Deshaun Thomas scores 22 as Ohio State escapes upset against Northwestern 69-59

Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas right goes up for shot against Northwestern's Kale Abrahamsduring first half an NCAA college basketball game

Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas, right, goes up for a shot against Northwestern's Kale Abrahamson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Ohio State won 69-59. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Deshaun Thomas scored 22 points and No. 13 Ohio State used a late 12-0 run to beat Northwestern 69-59 on Thursday night, the Buckeyes’ 32nd consecutive home win against the Wildcats.

Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 12 points — all in the first half — with Sam Thompson adding 11 and Amir Williams a career-high 10 for the Buckeyes (18-6, 8-4 Big Ten).

Pesky Northwestern (13-12, 4-8) led throughout the second half despite having only seven scholarship players due to injuries.

Tre Demps led the Wildcats with 16 points, Reggie Hearn had 12 and Dave Sobolewski 10.

No one would have been surprised to see the Buckeyes blow out the Wildcats. They held a 111-45 upper hand all-time against Northwestern, including 65-14 in home games. The last time a Northwestern team had won in Columbus was Feb. 24, 1977 — when the original Star Wars was up for best picture and the Cincinnati Reds reigned as World Series champs.

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