Northwestern struggled to keep up with a deep Ohio State team that showcased six different player coming off the bench, four of whom scored for a combined 18 points. Only two players from Northwestern's bench saw time and only Tailor Jones contributed any points.
Midway through the second half, NU broke down defensively and let Ohio State take a one-point lead and turn it into a 10-point lead. From there the lead wavered, but never went the Wildcats' way.
"I thought defensively we broke down at the wrong time," said Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown. "We kept making plays to get back in the game but we could never get the lead in the second half."
Turnovers continued to be a trouble area for the ‘Cats. The team totaled 17 turnovers — for an assist-to-turnover ration of .822 — and the Buckeyes were able to capitalize. Thirty of Ohio State's points came off turnovers.
"We are a really young team and we played that way some of the time tonight," McKeown said.
Northwestern now sits on a 1-3 conference record heading home to take on in-state rival Illinois. The record is disappointing after a promising non-conference season gave Northwestern a solid 10-3 start. Northwestern avoids another ranked team until Jan. 26. The Wildcats' game agains the Illini will tipoff at 6:30 p.m. Monday.