No. 11 OSU holds off Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 21 points and No. 11 Ohio State held off a late Nebraska surge for a 63-56 victory Saturday night.
Ohio State (17-4, 7-2 Big Ten) led 53-38 after a pair of free throws by Aaron Craft with 9:05 left. Nebraska (11-12, 2-8) then made its comeback, outscoring the Buckeyes 15-5 and cutting the lead to 58-53 on David Rivers' free throws with 2:40 remaining.
Following an Ohio State miss, Nebraska's Brandon Ubel and Andre Almeida each missed shots at the rim and Ubel missed a 3-point attempt. Craft hit a pair of free throws with 56 seconds left to put the Buckeyes up seven.
Ohio State won the game at the free throw line. The Buckeyes made 23 of 28, including all 10 of their first-half attempts. Nebraska was just 4 of 5 from the line.
Ohio State won its third straight game and seventh in a row against Nebraska, including all four since the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes travel to No. 1 Michigan on Tuesday.
Ohio State established a working margin late in the first half. Trailing 19-17, the Buckeyes went on a 13-0 run capped by LaQuinton Ross' long 3-pointer with 2:05 left. Ohio State led by nine at halftime.
Nebraska cut the lead to 38-32 on Dylan Talley's 3-pointer with 15:58 to go. Ohio State then went on a 15-6 run, going up 45-34 on Deshaun Thomas' short jumper with 13:42 remaining.
AKRON 86, OHIO 72: Alex Abreu had 21 points and nine assists to lead Akron past Ohio 86-72 Saturday night in a meeting of the Mid-American Conference's two unbeaten teams.
The Zips (17-4, 8-0), the defending MAC regular-season champion, won their 13th consecutive game, the longest streak in Division I after Kansas lost Saturday to Oklahoma State.
Zeke Marshall and Demetrius Treadwell contributed double-doubles for Akron. Marshall had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Treadwell 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bobcats (15-6, 6-1), who had won seven straight, beat Akron in their last meeting, last season's MAC tournament final.
Abreu's 10 points in the final 10 minutes before halftime helped the Zips outscore the Bobcats 31-13 after trailing 23-10.
Nick Kellogg scored 15 points for Ohio and D.J. Cooper had 14 points and six assists. Cooper passed Grayson Marshall (Clemson, 1984-88) for 19th on the all-time Division I assists list and now has 861.