Holtmann makes history in OSU victory
Chris Holtmann became the first coach in 95 years to win his first seven Big Ten games as No. 22 Ohio State defeated Northwestern 71-65 on Wednesday night.
C.J. Jackson had 12 points, eight assists and three steals, Micah Potter scored 13 points off the bench, Jae’Sean Tate added 12 and Keita Bates-Diop had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Buckeyes (16-4, 7-0), who won their sixth straight overall.
Holtmann is the third Big Ten coach to win his first seven conference games, joining Wisconsin’s Walter Meanwell (1911-12) and Iowa’s Sam Barry (1922-23). Holtmann replaced Thad Matta, the program’s all-time wins leader, this season.
Vic Law scored 14 points and Scottie Lindsey added 13 for Northwestern (11-9, 2-5) as the Wildcats suffered their second straight double-digit loss.
Picked to finish 11th in the Big Ten in a preseason media poll, the Buckeyes have been the story of the conference so far this season.
Coming off successive routs of then-No. 1 Michigan State, Maryland and Rutgers, Ohio State led Northwestern by as many as 15 in the second half before holding off a late Wildcats charge.
Northwestern got within three at 68-65 on a 3-pointer by Lindsey with 43 seconds left, but Jackson sealed the the victory from the foul line.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes won on the road without a big game from Bates-Diop. The reigning two-time Big Ten Player of the Week, Bates-Dio entered the game leading the Big Ten in scoring (20.3) and third in rebounding (8.8).
Northwestern: With four starters back from the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance, the Wildcats have fallen far short of expectations and are going to have turn things around in a hurry to make a case for another invitation to the dance.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes host Minnesota on Saturday.
Northwestern: The Wildcats host Penn State on Saturday.