COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Basketball doesn't get much better than this, Ohio State coach Beth Burns said.
"It's hard to have any words other than it was a tremendous basketball game by both teams," she said after her Buckeyes beat No. 23 Minnesota 70-66 Friday night. "You saw 10 people on the court playing as hard as they could."
The Buckeyes (10-10, 5-4 Big Ten) won because they made more plays than the Golden Gophers (14-4, 4-3) in the closing minutes.
Courtney Coleman made two free throws with 1:24 left to give the Buckeyes a 66-64 lead. The Gophers then tied it on Kadidja Andersson's turnaround jumper 22 seconds later.
After Didi Reynolds couldn't hit the front end of a one-and-one with 42 seconds to play for Ohio State, Minnesota's Lindsay Lieser missed a 3-pointer for the lead.
The Buckeyes' Lauren Shenk grabbed the long rebound and started a fastbreak. She pulled up at the foul line and found Reynolds, who was fouled down low with 5.1 seconds to play.
Reynolds hit both free throws to put the Buckeyes up 68-66.
The Buckeyes immediately got the ball back when Minnesota's inbound pass for Lindsay Whalen sailed out of bounds. Then Shenk was fouled and made two free throws to ice the game.
"We had good execution and hit some big shots," Burns said. "We battled and battled to bring it home."
The Golden Gophers came in averaging 84.5 points a game -- best in the Big Ten -- but struggled down the stretch.
"Being ranked for the first time this season, it's nice to have national attention," said Minnesota coach Brenda Oldfield. "But now we have to learn how to handle it. We didn't do that tonight."
Whalen led the Gophers with 23 points, but she missed two free throws with 1:35 left and the scored tied at 64. She went 3-of-7 at the line and shot 10-of-14 from the field.
"When a game comes down to the last two minutes, a lot of time it depends on free throws. We didn't hit ours down the stretch," Whalen said. "Their pressure defense on us made everything harder for us."
Ohio State made 12-of-13 free throws to make up for 44 percent shooting. Coleman went 8-of-8 at the line and scored 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
Tonya McClure scored a career-high 12 points in her first game for Ohio State since November 2000. She was out last season with a broken left foot, and hadn't played this season because of surgery on her left ankle in October.
"It felt really good to get out there," McClure said. "I was more focused and determined than anybody. I was going to go out there and play hard and I contributed all I could."
Burns said the Buckeyes benefited from McClure's presence.
"I knew she would leave her guts on the floor," Burns said.
The Buckeyes have beaten the Gophers all 18 times they've played in Columbus.
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