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Northwestern suffers 81-71 road loss against Ohio State, dropping its fourth straight game

COLUMBUS, OHIO — Duane Washington Jr. scored a career-high 23 points to lead No. 21 Ohio State to an 81-71 win over Northwestern on Wednesday night.

The Buckeyes (10-3, 4-3 Big Ten) avenged a one-point loss to the Wildcats on Dec. 26 and handed Northwestern (6-5, 3-4) its fourth straight defeat.

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Justin Ahrens added 12 points, hitting four 3-pointers, including a timely one late in the second half to help preserve the Buckeyes’ lead.

Chase Audige kept Northwestern in the game, scoring 21 of his career-best 25 points in the first half. Audige, who was averaging 11.7 points, cooled off in the second, just as Miller Kopp was heating up. He had 16 points in the second half to get Northwestern within one late.

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Ohio State then went on a 12-0 run to secure the win.

Kyle Young added 12, including a key three-point play with just more than two minutes left, and Justice Sueing added 13.

Freshman Meechie Johnson Jr., who left high school earlier this year to bolster the Buckeyes bench, scored his first-ever basket, a 3-pointer on his first career shot. He ended up with 6 points.

The Buckeyes’ victory was all the more impressive considering the limited scoring from E.J. Liddell, who missed all six of his shots from the field. He was 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.

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