COLUMBUS, Ohio — Keita Bates-Diop scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half and No. 13 Ohio State beat Nebraska 64-59 on Monday night, the fourth victory for the surging Buckeyes in the last eight days.
The back-and-forth game had seven lead changes in the second half. A pair of foul shots by Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr. cut Ohio State’s lead to four with 2:19 remaining, but the Cornhuskers couldn’t pull any closer.
Jae’Sean Tate put the Buckeyes (18-4, 9-0 Big Ten) up by six with a layup with 1:02 left, and a pair of foul shots by Kaleb Wesson stretched it to eight. Palmer hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, but Nebraska ran out of time.
Palmer had a career-high 34 points. Nebraska (14-8, 5-4) was fresh off a 20-point upset of then-No. 23 Michigan on Thursday.
Ohio State surpassed its win total for all of last season. Earlier in the day, it moved from No. 22 to No. 13 in the AP Top 25, its highest position since 2014.
Nebraska: The surprising Cornhuskers knocked off a ranked team last week and are a better squad than last season with Palmer carrying the load, but couldn’t outlast the steady Buckeyes.
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 picked up another critical Big Ten win over a good team.
Nebraska: At Rutgers on Wednesday.
Ohio State: Hosts Penn State on Thursday.