Northwestern overwhelmed early by OSU

John Shurna had another big game, but his 22 points weren't nearly enough. Northwestern was overwhelmed by No. 21 Ohio State at the outset and faced a 23-point halftime hole -- shooting just 4-for-22 in the opening frame -- before eventually falling 76-56 in Columbus. A recap from NU Sports...

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Northwestern was unable to overcome a cold shooting night from the floor in dropping a 76-56 decision at No. 21 Ohio State Tuesday evening. John Shurna led the Wildcats with 22 points, his eighth game this season scoring at least 20 points.

The Buckeyes were the third consecutive ranked opponent the Wildcats had faced.

Ohio State (14-5, 4-3 Big Ten) had the hot hand early on, racing out to a 17-3 advantage as the hosts connected on their first seven field goal attempts. It proved to be an early deficit that NU (13-5, 2-4) was unable to dig itself out of.

Shurna proved to be the lone highlight of the first half for the Wildcats as he scored eight points over the opening 20 minutes of play. However, he did see his impressive streak of consecutive made free throws to open the Big Ten season come to an end at 21.

The Buckeyes would take a 40-17 lead into the intermission as the hosts shot 14-of-25 from the field compared to 4-of-22 for Northwestern.

Shurna continued to be the Wildcats' prime offensive force early in the second half as he scored nine early points, however, NU was unable to put much of a dent into Ohio State's lead. The junior forward finished with 14 points after the break and connected on 7-of-10 field goal attempts in the contest.

Evan Turner led the Buckeyes with 20 points, while Jon Diebler added 17.

NU shot 56 percent (14-25) from the field in the second half, but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the early deficit.

The Wildcats return to action a 7 p.m. Saturday when they host Illinois at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The game is a sellout.

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