COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Bruce Thornton had 24 points, Jamison Battle scored 22 and made six 3-pointers, and Ohio State held off Rutgers 76-72 on Wednesday night.

Thornton sank 9 of 15 shots and added seven assists for the Buckeyes (12-2, 2-1 Big Ten Conference), who have won four in a row while improving to 8-0 all-time at home against the Scarlet Knights (8-5, 0-2). Battle made 8 of 12 shots, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range. Battle, a transfer from Big Ten foe Minnesota, has made 42 shots from beyond the arc, tops in the conference. Roddy Gayle Jr. scored all 11 of his points in the second half and grabbed seven rebounds.

Derek Simpson scored 23 on 9-for-16 shooting with two 3-pointers and eight rebounds for Rutgers. Noah Fernandes had 17 points, while Mawot Mag scored 11. Aundre Hyatt pitched in with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Battle hit his first six shots, five of them from 3-point range, and scored 17, Thornton sank his first five shots with both of his 3-pointers and scored 15 to lead Ohio State to a 45-32 lead at halftime. The Buckeyes shot 53% from the floor and made 9 of 15 from beyond the arc in building the 13-point lead. Simpson had 11 points and Fernandes scored 10 as the pair accounted for all but 11 first-half points for the Scarlet Knights, who trailed by as many as 17.

Gayle's layup gave Ohio State a 58-46 lead with 12:15 remaining. Rutgers whittled away at the lead until back-to-back baskets from Simpson and Mag pulled the Scarlet Knights within 67-66 with 3:20 left.

Evan Mahaffey answered with a jumper for the Buckeyes after Thornton snagged the rebound off his own missed 3-pointer and Gayle followed with a 3-pointer after a Scarlet Knights turnover to push the lead to six. Fernandes and Simpson buried 3-pointers in the final 1:14 for Rutgers, but Thornton and Gayle both went 2 for 2 at the foul line to preserve the victory.


Ohio State: The Buckeyes travel to play Indiana on Saturday.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights stay on the road and face Iowa on Saturday.

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