Ohio State (2-2) grabbed a 39-24 halftime lead over the suspension depleted Wildcats (3-2). But Villanova went on a 17-4 run to cut the lead to one at 64-63. Villanova then forced an OSU turnover and, after Randy Foye was fouled, they had a chance to take the lead at the free throw line. But Foye missed the front end of a one-and-one with 46.1 seconds left and Ricardo Billings rebounded for OSU.
At the other end, Tony Stockman beat his man off the dribble and made a running one-hander from six feet to put OSU up 66-63 with 32 seconds left. After a timeout, Villanova took a shot at tying it. But Foye's three-point try missed the mark. Villanova's Will Sheridan got the rebound but missed inside. The ball was tipped out to OSU's Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, who was fouled with 9.2 seconds left.
Fuss-Cheatham made 1 of 2 free throws for a 67-63 lead before Villanova's Ryan Nardi canned a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the final margin to one.
Stockman led Ohio State with 23 points on 10 of 17 shooting from the floor. He was 3 of 9 from behind the three-point arc. Terence Dials added 12 points before fouling out. J.J. Sullinger added 10 points.
Allan Ray led Villanova with 21 points and Foye had 18.
OSU shot 53.2 percent from the floor (25 of 47) and 56.5 percent from the foul line (13 of 23).
The Buckeyes were due to fly home after the game and should arrive back in Columbus sometime Thursday afternoon. They are off until they host Georgia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge next Wednesday at 7 p.m.