CHICAGO — Patience has been a hallmark of C.J. Jackson’s career. Whether it was playing a year at junior college while waiting for the right fit with a Division I school to sitting behind JaQuan Lyle before outplaying him for the starting point guard spot, the Ohio State senior has a clear history of perseverance.

He showed it again Saturday at the United Center. Jackson shook off back-to-back early turnovers and a poor-shooting first half against UCLA to score 18 of his game-high 22 points in the final 9:06 and help the No. 15 Buckeyes (11-1) to an 80-66 win against the freefalling Bruins (7-5), who have now lost three consecutive non-conference games under coach Steve Alford for the first time in four years.

“The first half I was struggling with my turnovers, a couple of defensive assignments I missed so going into the second half I had to change my mind-set and it started with defense,” Jackson said. “Once I focused on defense more I was able to knock down a couple of shots.”

To get to that point, Ohio State had to solve UCLA’s zone defense and eventually start taking control of a game the Bruins were seemingly trying to give away. The Buckeyes held only a three-point halftime lead at 33-30 despite 12 first-half turnovers by the Bruins. Eleven of them came in the final 12:03 of the half, but Ohio State’s offense simultaneously stagnated.

When Jules Bernard turned it over to start the stretch, UCLA held an 18-15 lead. The Bruins turned it over five more times in the next 4:27, but the Buckeyes endured a stretch of missing seven of eight shots and still trailed 18-17.

They didn’t take a lead until Andre Wesson found his brother Kaleb on the left block for a layup with 5:03 remaining for a 23-21 lead. On the final possession of the half, Luther Muhammad hounded Jaylen Hands as he dribbled out the final seconds and forced an off-balance shot at the rim. His teammates erupted and embraced him as they sprinted off the court.

Andre Wesson’s 3-pointer with 16:33 left capped a 10-4 run to open the second half, pushing it to a nine-point lead. In the final 17:57 of the game, UCLA never had the ball with a chance to tie the lead or take the game.

“Their length bothered us,” coach Chris Holtmann said. “We drove them a little bit more in the zone and posted it and move it a little quicker, which was instrumental for us.”

Then the Buckeyes started wearing the Bruins down behind Kaleb Wesson, who had his second double-double with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.

“That’s what we tried to do for 40 minutes — make it a tough, grind-it-out game,” he said. “Occupying them, getting into their legs, trying to wear them out was a big key.”

Against the zone, Keyshawn Woods dished out a career-high 10 assists and did not have a turnover, a line Holtmann said was as significant as any other for the Buckeyes.

It gave the Buckeyes their second win in the five-year history of this event and ended a five-game losing streak at the hands of the slumping Bruins, who hadn’t lost to the Buckeyes since Dec. 28, 1961 — a 105-84 Ohio State win in the Holiday Classic in Los Angeles.

After hosting High Point on Dec. 29, the Buckeyes will enter Big Ten play with signature non-conference wins over Cincinnati, Creighton and UCLA — all away from Value City Arena.

“Happy, but not satisfied,” Kaleb Wesson said. “We still have a lot of work to do. We have to work on our defense and staying for 40 minutes.”