COLUMBUS: Deshaun Thomas scored 25 points, including 10 during a game-breaking 15-0 second-half run, to lead No. 11 Ohio State past Wisconsin 58-49 on Tuesday night.
The leading scorer in the Big Ten, Thomas took over the game as both teams tried to gain leverage in a typically physical matchup between them.
The victory moved Ohio State (16-4, 6-2 Big Ten) into third place in the Big Ten and dropped Wisconsin (14-7, 5-3) two games off the pace set by co-leaders Indiana and Michigan (6-1).
Traevon Jackson, the son of Buckeyes great Jimmy Jackson, led the Badgers with 12 points in the arena where his dad’s jersey hangs from the rafters.
Jared Berggren added 11 points for Wisconsin.
Aaron Craft had 13 points and six assists for the Buckeyes.
Both teams were shooting well to start the second half, the Buckeyes making seven of their first eight from the field and Wisconsin making 6-of-11.
Thomas’ fake and 10-foot jumper over Ryan Evans tied it at 41, and Thomas gave the Buckeyes the lead on a drive through the lane and finger roll after Evans had charged into Craft at the other end.
It didn’t stop there, as the Buckeyes’ defense stepped up the pressure to force bad shots and the offense started clicking.
During the 15-0 run that went from the 13:01 mark to under 6 minutes left, the Badgers were 0-for-7 from the field with three turnovers as everything went Ohio State’s way.
Thomas made another basket, this time on a drive, before LaQuinton Ross popped in a 3-pointer from the left wing.
Thomas then took a pass from Shannon Scott on the fast break and scissored in for a layup.