Purdue dropped a big opportunity for a final marquee win in the regular season as they fell to Ohio State on senior night by a score of 77-56.
With both teams amid a two-game losing streak, this game was very important for both squads for their NCAA Tournament seeding. Ohio State was the team that seemed to want it more coming out of the gates and had a balanced attack with 7 Buckeyes scoring in the first quarter to take an 18-9 lead. The offensive struggles continued for the Boilermakers as they were unable to get much going to start the game and went 4-17 from the floor in the first.
After going down 12 early in the second, Purdue went on a 10-2 run to close the gap to just 23-19 midway through the quarter. After showing some life, the Boilermakers were outworked and bullied as the Buckeyes extended their lead. The combination of Juhasz, Patty, and Sheldon for Ohio State took over the second quarter and pushed the Buckeyes to a 15 point lead at the break. Purdue struggled from the floor shooting just 30% on field goals, hitting just 1 of 10 shots from deep while turning it over 8 times.
The rough times were not over for Purdue as Ohio State came out from halftime just as effective as they entered it. The Boilermakers allowed a 16-4 Buckeye run to find themselves down 27 with just over 3 minutes left in the third quarter. Purdue did show a little bit of life once again but was unable to string together stops as Ohio State took a sizable advantage into the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately for the Boilermakers, it was more of the same in the final quarter as Ohio State put the nail in the coffin to escape West Lafayette with a big win.
This is the second straight uninspiring game for Purdue as they have lost their last two games by a combined 64 points and have averaged just 50.5 points per game while shooting just 29.8% from the field over that time.
Purdue’s two seniors, Ae’Rianna Harris, and Dominique Oden had rough games during the final regular-season home game for their careers. Neither shot particularly well from the floor as they did combine for 24 points but got there on just 9-27 shooting from the field. Harris did join the 1,500 point club in today’s game to get racking up the accolades for her outstanding career as a Boilermaker. Although they could have at least one more home game, this kind of loss on a senior night no doubt stings.
Karissa McLaughlin, who is the third member of Purdue’s “Big 3”, also did not have her best game today. McLaughlin did score 18 points but shot 6-18 from the field and 4-12 from three-point range. Most of the 18 points Karissa scored were when the game was well out of reach though.
With this loss being the regular-season finale, the Boilermakers’ case for an at large bid is up in the air heading into the Big Ten Tournament next week. Purdue will need at least two wins, maybe three, in Indianapolis to feel safe for March. It appears Purdue will be taking on Michigan State in the 8-9 game on Thursday at noon.