COLUMBUS — Jamar Butler did not contribute in the points column but the senior guard was still a force in Ohio States 62-51 win over Northwestern Sunday afternoon. Butler followed a career-best 32 points in Thursdays win at Illinois by missing all seven field goals for no points but he had a game-high 11 assists — including a pair of spectacular alley-oops — and a career-high 10 rebounds. “He showed he can hurt you in a lot of different ways,” Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. “He was content to run the team. It was an impressive performance.” Freshman center Kosta Koufos did the scoring from the inside in the first half and freshman guard Jon Diebler got the points from the outside in the second for the Buckeyes in their Big Ten home opener. Koufos scored all but two of his game-high 17 points before intermission to help the Buckeyes (11-3, 2-0) to a 12-point halftime lead, 37-25. Diebler scored 10 of his 15, including three 3-pointers, in the second half. Evan Turner added 16 points overall. Craig Moore led the Wildcats (5-6, 0-2) with 16 points while Kevin Coble added 11 and Michael Thompson had 10. “We played well defensively and challenged a lot of shots but we had too many turnovers (20),” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. “When we got the ball moving we got the shots we wanted.” Ohio State has won 18 straight conference games, including three in the conference tournament, since a 72-69 loss at Wisconsin last Jan. 9. The Buckeyes defeated Northwestern for the 16th straight time and have not lost to the Wildcats at home in 25 games since 1978. Northwestern rebounded from the halftime deficit to pull to within 43-39 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Coble and Moore and a basket and free throw from Sterling Williams before Diebler pushed the Buckeyes’ lead to eight with a four-point play. He made a free throw after being fouled by Thompson on a 3-point shot. “We knew if we got some looks and stopped them we could make a run and we did but they made some big shots and got some offensive rebounds that killed us,” Williams said. The Buckeyes got the lead to a dozen again before the Wildcats rallied to 51-44. But Othello Hunter slammed an inbounds pass from Butler with 6:10 remaining and Koufos followed with another dunk. Butler later added a half-court alley-oop to Hunter for a slam to make it 60-49 with 3:40 to play. “Those were two of the most incredible dunks Ive seen,” Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said of Hunters baskets. “They were very timely on his part.” The seven-foot Koufos took advantage of a four-inch height advantage for a near-perfect first half. He hit his first five field goals, including a 3-pointer from the right corner, and all four free throws while also grabbing eight rebounds, one less than Northwesterns total. Koufos finished 6-of-10 from the floor and collected 12 rebounds. “They were aggressive and forced me to kick the ball out and the guys hit the shots,” Koufos said. “Northwestern is a great ballclub and we played a hard 40 minutes.” He didnt miss until a 10-foot jumper with 1:25 left in the first half. Koufos followed the shot with a tip-in attempt that didnt go in but David Lighty was there for the rebound basket to give the Buckeyes their biggest lead of the half at 34-19. Northwestern trailed 23-19 with seven minutes left in the half but went more than six minutes without a score, missing six shots and committing a turnover during the stretch. Northwestern was 18 of 58 (31 percent) from the floor overall and made nine of 32 three-pointers (28.1 percent). The Wildcats were outrebounded 46-23. Ohio State made 23 of 48 field goals (47.9 percent) and 7 of 17 three-pointers (41.2 percent).