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Bates-Diop scores 20 as No. 13 Buckeyes slip past Nebraska


Playing its fourth game in eight days, No. 13 Ohio State seemed vulnerable Monday night. Facing a surprising Nebraska team that upset Michigan last week, the Buckeyes were at risk of letting one slip away.

But that didn’t happen. Keita Bates-Diop, the Big Ten’s top scorer, had 14 of his 20 points in the second half and the surging Buckeyes ground out a 64-59 win over the Cornhuskers for their ninth straight conference victory.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes may have been fatigued after a rugged traveling schedule and three straight games on the road. But they found a rhythm in the second half and locked down another critical Big Ten win over a scrappy team.

Palmer was 11 for 18, and 5 for 11 from beyond the 3-point arc. His 34 points led all scorers, and none of his teammates contributed more than five points.

I’m no rocket scientist, but I’ll tell you what — when James is going like that we just keep getting him the ball and get out of his way, Miles said. James is a special player, and I’m glad he’s with us. He’s one of those guys who’s getting a little better every night out.

Bridges scored 31 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. had 21 points and 11 rebounds and the Spartans beat Illinois 87-74 on Monday night despite committing 25 turnovers.

It was the most giveaways for Michigan State (18-3, 6-2 Big Ten) since November of 2005 against Arizona, when they had 27 in an overtime win. This was the Spartans’ third straight game with 20 or more turnovers, and they’ve won each game by double digits.

It was a bit ridiculous what we did out there tonight, Izzo said.

Illinois coach Brad Underwood, whose team has lost six in a row — all Big Ten games — managed to sound optimistic after his team’s effort against an elite team.

I liked the team I coached out there tonight, he said. Losing is unacceptable, but we’re young and everything is a growing process for us. Baby steps. Continuing to learn. Tonight, I think we ran our best offense of the year, against a team that is ranked first or second in the nation in just about every defensive category.

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