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Ohio State holds on, poised to take No. 1

Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, who finishes with 19 including a late three-point play, drives against Penn State’s Billy Oliver.

Associated Press

Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, who finishes with 19 including a late three-point play, drives against Penn State’s Billy Oliver.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Freshman Jared Sullinger scored 19 and had a three-point play with 13.2 seconds left to lift No. 2 Ohio State to a 69-66 victory over Penn State on Saturday.

The victory, on the heels of top-ranked Duke's loss at FSU on Wednesday, could propel the Buckeyes (18-0, 5-0 Big Ten) to the No. 1 spot this week.

"If that does happen, the thing that excites me the most is that's the second time we've been there in a few years," said coach Thad Matta, whose 2006-07 Buckeyes ended the regular season ranked No. 1. "I don't know how many schools can say that they've been in that position."

Ohio State freshman Aaron Craft had 19 points, a career high, and played strong defense against Penn State star Talor Battle. Battle's 3-pointer with two seconds left was short.

No. 1 duke 76, uva 60: Nolan Smith scored 29 for the host Blue Devils (16-1, 3-1 ACC). Mason Plumlee had a career-high 16 rebounds for Duke, which closed with a 43-18 run.

No. 3 Kansas 63, Nebraska 60: Marcus Morris and Tyrel Reed hit late free throws and the Jayhawks (17-0, 2-0 Big 12) rallied for their 69th straight home win.

No. 4 Syracuse 67, No. 25 Cincinnati 52: Rick Jackson had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the host Orange (18-0, 5-0 Big East). Syracuse, one win from matching the program's best start, visits Pittsburgh on Monday. Dion Dixon led the Bearcats (16-2, 3-2) with 18 points, all on 3s.

No. 5 pitt 74, seton hall 53: The host Panthers (17-1, 5-0 Big East) cruised to a double-digit lead and maintained control.

No. 6 San Diego St. 87, N.M. 77: D.J. Gay scored a career-high 30 for the visiting Aztecs (19-0, 4-0 Mountain West).

No. 7 'nova 74, Maryland 66: Corey Fisher scored eight of his 17 during a 19-0 run and the Wildcats (16-1) won their 11th straight. Villanova played without forward Maurice Sutton (disciplinary reasons) and Dominic Cheek (serious left knee injury). Sutton made a throat-slashing gesture against Louisville.

No. 10 UCONN 82, DePaul 62: Kemba Walker scored 22 of his 31 in the first half and the visiting Huskies (14-2, 3-2 Big East) handed the Blue Demons their 18th straight conference loss. Cleveland Melvin, who orally committed to UConn before changing his mind, had 25 points and 12 rebounds for DePaul.

No. 12 Texas 66, Okla. 46: The host Longhorns (14-3, 2-0 Big 12) held the Sooners to 1-of-15 on 3-pointers.

No. 13 Kentucky 82, LSU 44: The host Wildcats (14-3, 2-1 SEC) held the Tigers to a season-low 26 percent shooting

No. 14 Texas A&M 91, No. 15 Missouri 89, OT: Khris Middleton scored 11 of his 28 in overtime for the host Aggies (16-1, 3-0 Big 12). The Tigers (15-3, 1-2) had a chance to win in regulation, but Phil Pressey missed a jumper.

No. 20 Wis. 76, No. 16 Ill. 66: Jon Leuer scored 26 and hit a critical late 3-pointer for the host Badgers (13-4, 3-2 Big Ten). Demetri McCamey scored 23 for the Illini (13-5, 3-2).

No. 18 L'ville 71, Marquette 70: Kyle Kuric's layup with four seconds left capped a rally by the host Cardinals (14-3, 3-1 Big East). Louisville trailed by 18 with less than six minutes left but closed with a 24-5 run. The Golden Eagles' Jimmy Butler missed a final runner.

Duquesne 78, No. 19 Temple 66: Bill Clark scored 22 and the host Dukes held the Owls (12-4, 3-1 Atlantic 10) to 31 percent shooting. Temple missed its first 14 shots.

No. 21 K-state 94, Texas Tech 60: Jamar Samuels scored 22 for the host Wildcats (13-5, 1-2 Big 12). The Red Raiders have lost their three conference games by a combined 77 points. After the game, it was announced that Freddy Asprilla left Kansas State to seek a pro career in his native Colombia. His former AAU coach said Asprilla is sacrificing his college career to help his ill mother; teammate Curtis Kelly said hard practices led to Asprilla leaving.

No. 24 UGA 98, Mississippi 76: Gerald Robinson scored a season-high 22 and the visiting Bulldogs (13-3, 2-1 SEC) had five players in double figures.

So. Miss 86, No. 23 UCF 69: The visiting Knights (14-2, 1-2 C-USA) lost their second straight, giving up a 21-2 run midway through the second half. UCF's Marcus Jordan scored 15 first-half points and finished with a team-high 20. The Golden Eagles beat a ranked team for the first time since 2004.

No. 22 G'town 74, Rutgers 65: Austin Freeman scored 25 for the visiting Hoyas (13-5, 2-4 Big East).

Xavier 81, Dayton 76: The Musketeers won their 34th straight Atlantic 10 home game, matching Temple's league record from 1987-91.

Miami 72, Boston College 71: Durand Scott scored 19 for the host Hurricanes (12-5, 1-2 ACC).

Indiana 80, Michigan 61: Verdell Jones scored 24 as the host Hoosiers snapped a six-game losing skid by winning for the first time in three tries at Assembly Hall.

B-CU 61, Delaware St. 60: C.J. Reed made two free throws with seven seconds left for visiting Bethune-Cookman (9-8, 4-0 MEAC).

MD.-Eastern Shore 86, FAMU 81, OT: The visiting Rattlers (5-11, 0-4 MEAC) lost their fourth straight despite 26 points from Avery Moore.

FAU 78, Western Ky. 73: The visiting Owls (14-6, 6-0 Sun Belt) won their sixth straight.

Eckerd 84, Nova SE 71: Lance Kearse had 15 points and seven rebounds for the host Tritons (12-4, 3-3 SSC).

rollins 85, saint leo 73: The host Lions (9-6, 1-5 SSC) got 17 points from Jamal Thompson of Brandon in a losing effort.

Ohio State holds on, poised to take No. 1 01/15/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 15, 2011 11:12pm]

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