Alston keys Ohio State 86-77 win over NorthwesternOhio State guard Ameryst Alston, left, shoots over Northwestern Wildcats forward Lauren Douglas in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, Ind., Thursday, March 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Ameryst Alston scored 30 points and Darryce Moore and Martina Ellerbe had double-doubles as eighth-seeded Ohio State pulled away in the closing minutes on Thursday to defeat ninth-seeded Northwestern 86-77 in the opening game of the Big Ten Tournament.
Alston, who finished one point shy of matching her career-high, broke a 73-73 tie with a layup with 1:53 to play. Ellerbe followed with a steal that was turned into her 3-pointer at the 1:24 mark and, after a Northwestern miss, Alston made two free throws for an 80-72 lead with 51 seconds remaining.
Ellerbe finished with 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for the Buckeyes (16-17), who face top-seeded and 11th-ranked Penn State (22-6) on Friday. Moore added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Maggie Lyon led Northwestern (15-15) with 25 points, Nia Coffey had 19 with 11 rebounds, Lauren Douglas had 15 points.