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Ohio State 87, Purdue 78: Close But No Cigar

Tough pill to swallow, but it’s not the end.

Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Okay everyone take a deep breath... Things are going to be okay. It is hard to beat any team in the country three times, let alone the #9 squad in the country. Purdue had a valiant effort but could not complete the comeback losing to Ohio State in overtime 87-78.

This game started just about a bad as you could imagine. With Kyle Young going ballistic out of nowhere to sloppy play all around it looked like this would be a blowout. Purdue allowed Ohio State to shoot 8-17 from downtown in the first half, which has been an issue when they play a good shooting team. The Boilermakers missed some shots and couldn’t must much of anything on the offensive end of the floor. I am willing to bet many fans believed this game just might be over when Kyle Young hit his 4th three of the game with just 8 seconds before halftime and Purdue facing an 18 point deficit going into the break.

Purdue came out of halftime and gradually started chipping away at that Buckeye lead and hack by hack they were able to find themselves back in the ball game. Jayden Ivey was a large part of starting that run, scoring 12 second-half points and hitting three consecutive three-pointers at one point. It appeared that his burst gave Purdue some life on both ends of the floor. Purdue then leaned on the All-Big Ten big man, Trevion Williams down the stretch, feeding him as he scored three straight buckets late to push the game into overtime.

Hell of a game from Trevion today. He only had 4 points on 2-7 shooting in the first half and looked like he was still in a bit of a slump. That is clearly not the case as he finished with 26 points on 12-23 shooting, a game-high 14 rebounds, and oh, threw in 5 assists too. You know when he gets on a role, it’s basically his decision what he wants to do. Ohio State had no answer for him late, which was the reason Purdue was able to stick around.

I am not sure if it was fatigue setting in or simply poor execution, but things just fell apart for the Boilermakers in overtime, getting outscored 15-6 during the extra period. One thing Purdue failed to adjust to late was the same play three possessions in a row to end up going on an 8-0 run and effectively end the game. Seth Towns hit a three-pointer in what should have been an offensive foul, then a pull-up jumper, followed by Duane Washington Jr. delivering the knockout blow on a curl around the screen. Purdue just had no idea what to do and scrambled which allowed Ohio State to eventually ice the game.

A few key stats ended up being the difference in this game, one being Purdue’s free-throw shooting. When you make only 55% of your 27 free throw attempts in a really close game, more times than not you are going to lose. Another was the lack of rebounds in key situations as there were quite a few instances that Ohio State was able to get another possession because Purdue just could not grab the ball.

Now, this is not a bad loss by any stretch of the imagination. Purdue put on a hell of a performance in the second half to even tie the game up, obviously, fans want to see wins but that is commendable.

This marks the 3rd time since 2017 that Purdue has lost their first game of the Big Ten Tournament. In the other two tournaments, they ended up in the Big Ten Championship game but ended up losing to Michigan and Michigan State in those years. Remember in 2019, Purdue was the #2 seed and lost to the #7 seed Minnesota in their first game... Then went to the Elite 8.

Do not put too much emphasis on this game, the Boilermakers have their seed in the NCAA Tournament all but locked in, and beating a team like Ohio State three times in one year is extremely difficult. An instant classic contest, that Purdue will use to improve as they move forward.

We now wait until Selection Sunday to know who, when, and where Purdue will play for their first game of the NCAA Tournament.