No. 7 Ohio State hangs on for 65-55 win

No. 7 Ohio State hangs on for 65-55 win
December 18, 2012, 9:07 pm
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Winthrop's Larry Brown, right, fouls Ohio State's Evan Ravenel during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

(APWF)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Deshaun Thomas scored 21 points - missing nine straight shots at one point and making five in a row at another - to lead No. 7 Ohio State past Winthrop 65-55 on Tuesday night.

It was the last tuneup for the Buckeyes (9-1) before Saturday's rematch with No. 9 Kansas. The Jayhawks beat them twice last year, once at Allen Fieldhouse and then in the Final Four.

Whether Ohio State was looking past Winthrop (4-5) and ahead to Kansas, or whether the Eagles just played well and the Buckeyes did not, the game was in doubt until Thomas got hot.

Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 14 points for the Buckeyes, who have won four in a row, all at home, since a 73-68 defeat at No. 2 Duke on Nov. 28 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge - a game the Buckeyes led most of the way.

Thomas added nine rebounds and a career-high four assists.