Zach Edey: 16 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists
Braden Smith: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals
Brice Sensabaugh: 21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals
Justice Sueing: 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Coming into this matchup, everyone wanted to see how this young Purdue team would respond to their first loss of the season (damn you, Rutgers). Purdue came out ice cold, missing their first 7 3’s and 7 of their first 8 shots overall. Halfway through the first, the OSU lead ballooned to 11 points and things were looking bleak. Purdue had open shots but couldn’t make anything and Ohio State continued to make well-defended jumpers. But then something magical happened: PURDUE MADE SOME 3’s! It was like the Joker talking about a dog catching a car, we fans didn’t know how to feel. In under a minute of gametime, Purdue snapped off three straight 3’s to go on a 9-0 run and tie the game at 33. Ohio State would take a 36-33 lead into halftime, but momentum was on Purdue’s side. Another important factor was the injury to OSU big-man, Zed Key, who had a shoulder injury while going for a rebound early in the first half. Key would not return.
The second half was a much closer affair as the lead never exceeded 6 for either team. Down the stretch, Purdue was able to get Zach Edey going as he scored 12 of his 16 in the second half. For Ohio State, the second half was about getting Justice Sueing and Brice Sensabaugh the ball and letting them get their shots. The duo combined for 16 points in the second half. Neither team could establish a large lead and they continued to trade blows down the wire. With just under 2 minutes left, Felix Okpara made a free throw to tie the game at 66, where the score would remain tied until a Sean McNeil 3 with 42 seconds left (because we haven’t seen enough late 3’s from opposing teams in seasons and game past). Purdue would go down the floor and get the ball inside to Zach Edey who made one of his patented hook shots to draw Purdue within 1. After a Purdue timeout, Ohio State would inbound the ball in the death corner and the outlet pass was stolen by Ethan Morton. Another Purdue timeout with 17 seconds left and on the ensuing play, Fletcher Loyer hit a massive 3 to put Purdue up 2 with 12 ticks left. Ohio State would attempt a last second three after some stout Purdue defense and it was way offline. Purdue showed some real fortitude and ultimately took down a good team on the road. They will need to take this momentum into Philadelphia on Sunday against a pesky Penn State team.
Purdue is continuing to struggle passing the ball right now as the team committed 14 turnovers in this one, and a lot were on lazy passes and flat-out missing the target. This young team will learn to clean these things up as the Big Ten presents a different defensive beast.
Hallelujah, the Boilermakers shot over 40% from deep! After starting 0-7 from beyond the arc, Purdue finished 13-24 despite still missing some open shots. This is a welcome sight for a team that couldn’t buy a bucket from deep over the last 5 games. David Jenkins really got going tonight, hitting all three of his threes, including a deep shot with a second or two left on the shot clock.
Purdue has played in much prettier games than this, but a win is a win. The train is back on the rails (not sure it was every really off of them) and Purdue can continue its fight for B1G Championship 25.