There's something about big games and last-minute shots that seem to bring out the best in Matt Sylvester.
It was the Ohio State swingman who made the three-point basket that dashed No. 1 Illinois' unbeaten season last March.
Having made only 31% of his shots from the field this season, Sylvester made another big three-pointer with 5.5 seconds left Saturday to cap a furious comeback and keep the 21st-ranked Buckeyes undefeated with a 78-76 victory over Louisiana State at Columbus, Ohio.
"I don't know what I was thinking -- my mind was pretty much blank, hoping that I'd make the shot," Sylvester said. "But when I let that one go, I felt pretty good about it."
Ohio State (10-0) trailed by 15 points with just over 5 1/2 minutes left and was down by 10 with 2 1/2 minutes to go before making every big play -- and scoring the final 12 points -- down the stretch.
"What a game!" Ohio State Coach Thad Matta said. "I'm still a little bit numb."
Terence Dials led the Buckeyes with 24 points, Sylvester and Ron Lewis each had 14 and Je'Kel Foster had 12.
"We never gave up," Lewis said. "The whole thing, the whole time we were saying we couldn't give up, that we had to stay together. We knew we could get a victory if we put our minds to it."
LSU (7-4), rattled near the end with a lineup dominated by freshmen, was led by Glen Davis' 25 points. Darrel Mitchell had 16, Tyrus Thomas had 14 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots and Tasmin Mitchell had 12 points.
"It's not Christmas, it's New Year's," LSU Coach John Brady said. "But maybe we gave them a game."
No. 1 Duke 102, North Carolina Greensboro 69 -- J.J. Redick scored 35 points -- the third time in four games he has had at least 30 -- to lead the Blue Devils (12-0) over the Spartans (7-6) at Greensboro, N.C.
Shelden Williams posted his third straight double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and had a career-high six steals and a block.
No. 3 Villanova 75, Temple 53 -- Allan Ray scored 20 points, Mike Nardi had 17 and Kyle Lowry 15 to help the Wildcats (9-0) power past the Owls (6-4) at Philadelphia.
Villanova opened the season with nine straight wins for the first time since 1961-62 when the Wildcats won their first 12.
No. 8 Gonzaga 102, St. Joseph's 94 -- J.P. Batista scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 15 rebounds at Spokane, Wash., in a win over the Hawks (5-4) as the Bulldogs (10-3) won their 30th consecutive home game, the longest streak in the nation.
Adam Morrison scored 25 points for the Bulldogs but was held without a field goal in the second half.
No. 9 Michigan State 78, Coppin State 54 -- Maurice Ager scored 25 points, Shannon Brown had 21 and the Spartans (12-2) defeated the Eagles (0-11) at East Lansing, Mich., to set a school record for nonconference wins.
Michigan State won its 11th straight game since losing to Gonzaga in triple overtime in the Maui Invitational semifinals and finished 8-0 for the month.
No. 10 Louisville 58, Miami 43 -- Juan Palacios scored 19 points and David Padgett had 11 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Cardinals (11-1) over the Hurricanes (7-6) in the Orange Bowl Classic at Sunrise, Fla.
Guillermo Diaz, Miami's leading scorer, was held scoreless for the second time in his career. The junior was 0 for 10 from the field, including four three-point attempts.
No. 13 Boston College 78, Rhode Island 56 -- Sean Marshall scored a season-high 21 points and Craig Smith had 20 for the Eagles (10-2) in a win over the Rams (6-5) at South Kingstown, R.I.
Boston College won its fourth in a row since losing to the only ranked teams it has played, Michigan State and Maryland.
No. 14 Oklahoma 68, Alabama 56 -- Kevin Bookout had 18 points and Taj Gray had 13 points as the Sooners (8-2) extended their home winning streak against nonconference opponents to 46 games, the longest in NCAA Division I, by defeating the Crimson Tide (6-5) at Norman, Okla.
Chuck Davis and Ronald Steele each had 18 points for Alabama.
No. 16 Maryland 99, Virginia Military Institute 68 -- D.J. Strawberry scored 16 points and Chris McCray had 15 as the Terrapins (10-2) coasted over the Keydets (5-6) at College Park, Md., for their fifth straight victory.
Nik Caner-Medley had 10 points and a team-high six assists for Maryland, which scored the game's first 13 points and led, 56-20, at halftime.
No. 17 Indiana 80, Ball State 56 -- Robert Vaden scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half, and D.J. White had 16 points and nine rebounds in his first start of the season for the Hoosiers (8-2) in a win over the Cardinals (4-4) at Muncie, Ind.
Indiana won its fourth straight game and has beaten Ball State 15 consecutive times since last losing in 1937.
St. Mary's 89, No. 20 Nevada 80 -- Brett Collins scored 12 of his career-high 31 points during an 18-0 run that led the Gaels (6-5) over the Wolfpack (10-2) at Moraga, Calif., for only their second win over a ranked opponent in more than 30 years.
St. Mary's only other win over a ranked opponent since 1974 came last season against Gonzaga, who the Gaels play host to Jan. 7.
Pittsburgh 73, No. 24 Wisconsin 64 -- Carl Krauser scored 22 points and the Panthers (11-0) remained unbeaten by holding off the Badgers (10-2) at Pittsburgh in their first game this season against a ranked opponent.
Three freshmen -- Sam Young, Levance Fields and Tyrell Biggs -- combined for 33 points to help Pittsburgh start 11-0 for the second time in three seasons.