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BIG TEN TOURNAMENT

Ohio State Stays Hot, Shoots Past Wisconsin

March 15, 2003|From Associated Press

Two weeks ago, Ohio State was barely above .500, and the NCAA tournament was far from the Buckeyes' minds.

Now they're on a roll, two victories from an improbable spot in the field.

Led by a gritty defense and Sean Connolly's strong shooting, Ohio State stunned No. 18 Wisconsin, 58-50, Friday in the Big Ten tournament at Chicago. The eighth-seeded Buckeyes (16-13), winners of three of their last four games, face fifth-seeded Michigan State today in a semifinal.

Connolly finished with 21 points and Brent Darby, who had 16 points and six assists, made four free throws in the final 39 seconds to secure the victory.

Ohio State held Wisconsin (22-7) to 34% field-goal shooting. The Badgers also had 11 turnovers, including two costly ones in the final 45 seconds.

Michigan State 54, Purdue 42 -- The Spartans (19-11) held the Boilermakers (18-10) to their lowest scoring output of the season.

No. 13 Illinois 94, Northwestern 65 -- Brian Cook had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Fighting Illini (22-6), who play Indiana in today's semifinals.

Indiana 63, Michigan 56 -- A.J. Moye powered a comeback, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the second half for the Hoosiers (20-11).

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