In the middle of the hand-to-hand combat that is a typical Wisconsin-Ohio State game, Deshaun Thomas took over.
The junior scored 25 points, including 10 during a game-breaking, 15-point second-half run, to lead the No. 11 Buckeyes past the Badgers, 58-49, Tuesday night in Columbus.
"That's easily the best player we've played because of how he can get his own shots," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "Thomas is good. He was tough on the two-point jump shots -- real tough -- and around the basket. He can attack. He's so strong."
The 6-foot-7 junior, averaging 20 points a game, hit 10 of 17 attempts from the field including a variety of step-back jump shots, slashes through the lane and shots he muscled over defenders. He also had four assists in what coach Thad Matta called his finest game with the Buckeyes.
"Without a doubt, this is probably right there at the top just because of his overall effectiveness," Matta said. "He was also very good defensively as well."
Wisconsin (14-7, 5-3 Big Ten) had controlled the tempo with deliberate passing, finding the open man, and making 11 of 28 3-point attempts.
With Ohio State (16-4, 6-2) trailing, 41-39, with 11:26 left, Thomas took over.
Thomas' fake and 10-foot jumper over Ryan Evans tied it at 41, with Thomas then giving the Buckeyes the lead on a drive through the lane and finger roll after Evans had been called for a charge at the other end.
It didn't stop there, as the Buckeyes' defense stepped up the pressure to force bad shots while the offense started clicking.
During the 15-0 run that went from the 13:01 mark to under 6 minutes left, the Badgers were 0 for 7 from the field with three turnovers as everything went Ohio State's way.
Other top 25 games
• Indiana State 68, Wichita State 55: Manny Arop scored 17 points to lead Indiana State (14-7, 7-3 Missouri Valley) to a victory against host No. 15 Wichita State (19-3, 8-2), snapping the Shockers' 19-game home winning streak.
• Virginia 58, North Carolina State 55: Joe Harris scored 22 points as host Virginia (15-5, 5-2 ACC) upset No. 19 North Carolina State (16-5, 5-3) for the Cavaliers' fourth consecutive win.
Women's top 25
• Connecticut 76, Villanova 43: Stefanie Dolson scored 20 points to lead No. 3 Connecticut (19-1, 6-1 Big East) past visiting Villanova (16-4, 5-2).
• Delaware 77, Northeastern 50: Elena Delle Donne scored 26 points as No. 25 Delaware (16-3, 7-0 Colonial Athletic Association) won its 11th in a row with a rout of Northeastern (11-8, 4-4).
• DePaul 57, Pitt 55: Brittany Hrynko led host DePaul (16-5, 5-2) with 19 points and scored with four seconds remaining to give Pitt (9-11, 0-7) its seventh loss in a row. The Panthers, who led, 25-24, at halftime, have lost 27 consecutive regular-season Big East games. Asia Logan led the Panthers with 15 points and four steals.
• West Virginia 67, Oklahoma State 61: Christal Caldwell scored 21 points to lead visiting West Virginia (12-8, 4-5 Big 12) to an upset against No. 19 Oklahoma State (15-4, 4-4 Big 12). Averee Fields added 19 points for West Virginia.