Aaron Craft #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes battle for control of a loose ball during the first half at Value City Arena on January 23, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
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Ross, Smith help No. 17 OSU end 4-game skid

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) LaQuinton Ross scored 18 points and Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 16 - including a critical 3-pointer in the waning moments - to help No. 17 Ohio State end a four-game skid with a 62-55 win over Illinois on Thursday night.

Aaron Craft added 11 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Buckeyes (16-4, 3-4 Big Ten), who had lost four in a row for the first time since 2007-08.

Joseph Bertrand had 19 points, Jon Ekey 11 and Nnanna Egwu 10 for the Illini (13-7, 2-5), who lost their fifth straight. They haven't won since Jan. 4 and play three of their next four games against ranked opponents.

Rayvonte Rice, averaging 17.4 points a game, was 0 for 8 from the field and went scoreless. The Illini have lost their last six Big Ten road games and fell to 1-4 against ranked teams this season.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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