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Andy Manis, Associated Press
Wisconsin's Mike Bruesewitz, left, fouls Ohio State's Jared Sullinger (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, in Madison, Wis. At right is Wisconsin's Jared Berggren.

MADISON, Wis. — Jared Sullinger scored 24 points and William Buford hit a critical 3-pointer down the stretch, helping No. 3 Ohio State beat No. 19 Wisconsin 58-52 on Saturday.

Deshaun Thomas scored 16 points and Buford added 11 for the Buckeyes (20-3, 8-2 Big Ten), who held onto their lead in the conference standings. Sullinger also had 10 rebounds.

Ryan Evans scored 14 points for the Badgers (18-6, 7-4), who were 5 for 27 from 3-point range.

With the victory, Ohio State ended a nine-game losing streak to Wisconsin in Madison — and avoided a repeat of last year's comeback by the Badgers.

The Badgers had no answer for Sullinger early on. He scored the Buckeyes' first nine points, consistently getting the best of the player assigned to defend him, Jared Berggren. Sullinger finished the first half with 16 points.