When push came to shove, Ohio State was slightly better at pushing and shoving.

Michael Redd scored 25 points and Scoonie Penn added 20, including four free throws in the final 21.4 seconds, as No. 13 Ohio State held off Minnesota, 71-63, yesterday in Columbus, Ohio.

"This game was not for the weak," Buckeyes Coach Jim O'Brien said. Most every shot was contested and on most trips down the court, at least one player ended up on the floor.

"It was physical. No doubt it was physical," O'Brien said, shaking his head. "They let guys play around the basket. That's why you tell players all the time that they have to adjust to how the game's being called. If they're calling hand checks, you have to be careful. And if they're not calling fouls, you have to be as aggressive as the other team."

The Buckeyes (9-3, 1-1 Big Ten), last in the conference in free throw shooting last season, made 10 of 12 free throws in the final 5 1/2 minutes and outscored the Golden Gophers, 14-5, at the line.

DAYTON 62, VIRGINIA TECH 50: Tony Stanley's three-pointer started a late surge and host Dayton hit all 10 of its free throws in the closing minute to hold on for the win.

Dayton improved to 11-2 for the first time since the 1978-79 season by winning its Atlantic 10 opener. The Flyers also matched their victory total from last season, when they finished 11-17.

After trailing most of the game, Virginia Tech (6-7, 0-2) forged a tie at 41 on Rolan Roberts's two free throws with 7 minutes 12 seconds left. Stanley and Brooks Hall then hit three-pointers, and Dayton led by at least five points the rest of the way.

In the final minute, Dayton got two free throws from Stanley and four each from Edwin Young and David Morris to pull away.

CUA CLASSIC: Dan Harrington (St. John's) scored 21 points and Mike Lepeonka (Quince Orchard) added 15 as Catholic (10-1) won their tournament with a 71-61 victory over Endicott (5-5) at the DuFour Center. CCNY took third place with an 83-75 win over Washington & Jefferson.