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EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Maggie Lyon scored 24 points, Nia Coffey added 23 and Northwestern upset No. 5 Ohio State 86-82 on Thursday night.
Christen Inman added 17 points, and Freshman Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah had 14 points and 14 rebounds for Northwestern (13-4, 2-3 Big Ten). The Wildcats had lost two straight and four of six to fall out of the Top 25. They forced 16 turnovers and scored 23 points off the Buckeyes' miscues in leading all the way.
Northwestern led 48-30 at the half, with Lyon hitting four of her five 3-point attempts. That helped negate Ohio State's full-court press, and allowed the Wildcats to work the ball inside, where Coffey scored 17 first-half points.
Ohio State closed the gap to five points in the final quarter, with Mitchell scoring 12 points. Her three-point play cut it to 82-77 with 1:21 to play, but Northwestern hit four of six free throws in the final minute.
An earlier Buckeyes' rally, punctuated by a 3-pointer by Alston, was answered by three straight baskets set up by Ohio State turnovers. Inman, Lyon and Kunaiyi-Akpanah scored in quick succession to make it 76-64 with 5:34 left.
Lyons hit a 3-pointer in the middle of a 15-2 run that pushed Northwestern's lead to 42-20 with 3:39 left in the first half.
Ohio State: Prior to Thursday night, the Buckeyes' only losses were to the top three teams in the AP poll: No. 1 UConn, No. 2 South Carolina and No. 3 Notre Dame.
Northwestern: Freshman Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah had been solid on the boards in her first 13 games, but hadn't scored more than four points in any contest her 14-point outburst.
Ohio State hosts Purdue on Sunday.
Northwestern visits No. 8 Maryland on Sunday.
OHIO STATE NOTES
- Alexa Hart notched her fourth double-double of the season and the 17th of her career with 14 points and a season-high 14 rebounds
- Over the last nine games, Hart is shooting 73.1 percent (57-of-78) from the floor
- Kelsey Mitchell scored a game-high 28 points and moves 19th place in school history with 1,276 career points
- With her season-high tying six three-point field goals, Mitchell moves into ninth place in school history with 177
- Shayla Cooper matched her career-high with 23 points to go along with seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals
- Buckeyes lost the battle in the 44-42, marking the first time in the last 11 games they have failed to win the battle down low