Deshaun Thomas scored 21 points – missing nine straight shots at one point and making five in a row at another – to lead No. 7 Ohio State past Winthrop 65-55 in a surprisingly close contest in Columbus, Ohio.
It was the last tuneup for the Buckeyes (9-1) before Saturday’s rematch with No. 9 Kansas. The Jayhawks beat them twice last year, once at Allen Fieldhouse and then in the Final Four.
Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 14 points for the Buckeyes, who have won four in a row, all at home, since a 73-68 loss at No. 2 Duke on Nov. 28 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Thomas added nine rebounds and a career-high four assists.
No. 20 Michigan St. 64, Bowling Green 53: Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine scored 12 points apiece to lead the Spartans to a road victory.
Branden Dawson added 10 points for Michigan State (10-2), which held Bowling Green (5-5) to just two points over a 6-minute stretch in the second half to take control. Dawson’s dunk highlighted the 14-2 run.
Purdue 66, Ball St. 56: A.J. Hammons scored 15 points and Terone Johnson added 14 as the Boilermakers snapped a two-game losing skid with a win at home.
D.J. Byrd and Ronnie Johnson scored 11 each, and Jacob Lawson added six points and 11 rebounds for Purdue (5-6), which finally put away the Cardinals with a late run.
Jesse Berry scored 22 points, and Rockford product Marcus Posley added 11 for Ball State (5-5), which shot just 35 percent fron the field and committed 17 turnovers.
Nebraska 59, Jacksonville St. 55: Dylan Talley’s two free throws with 6 seconds left sealed the Cornhuskers’ win at home.
Ahead 50-35 with 7 minutes left, Nebraska (7-3) was outscored 18-4 over the next 6:37. Jacksonville State (8-3) pulled to within 56-55 on Ronnie Boggs’ corner 3-pointer with 23 seconds remaining.
Ray Gallegos made one of two free throws to put the Huskers up two. Jacksonville State’s Chris Deanes drove the lane, missing a wide-open layup. Talley was fouled on the rebound and hit the clinching free throws.
Brandon Ubel led Nebraska with 15 points, while Shavon Shields had a career-high 14 and Talley finished with 10.
Darion Rackley led Jacksonville State with 17 points, including nine in the closing rally.
W. Illinois 70. Ill.-Chicago 54: Terrell Parks had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Ceola Clark added 14 points and eight assists to lead the Leathernecks past the Flames in Macomb.
Jack Houpt scored 12 points for WIU (8-3), which took control with a 12-0 run over a 4:17 stretch in the second half.
Joey Miller had 15 points and Josh Crittle 14 for UIC (9-2), which saw its eight-game winning streak snapped.