Purdue seemed to spend an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon getting right after a streak of losing 3 out of 4 games by defeating Ohio State 82-55 inside Mackey Arena. Edey seemed to reassert himself in the National Player of the Year conversation with a 26 point, 11 rebound, and 3 blocks performance but just controlled the paint area on defense that led to just 20 points in the paint (most of which were when he was off the floor).
Ohio State, playing without Zed Key, struggled to find consistency and to apply the kind of full court pressure to harass Purdue into poor shots and bad turnovers. Ohio State was led by likely Freshman All American Brice Sensabaugh with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Let’s see how the matchups faired for the Boilermakers!
1 | Purdue versus the Referees
Like I said in my original article, I don’t like playing the blame game against officials but the games at Northwestern and Maryland were so blatantly bad that it warranted concern. Today, that concern was reduced because the officials simply called the obvious and blatant fouls that had been missed previously. The game was kept in control with this crew and Purdue was able to take advantage of their strengths simply because the officials didn’t allow OSU to just hack their way through the game and impact it by not calling a foul, a foul.
In the first half, OSU was whistled for 13 fouls and that led to Purdue hitting 15-19 from the line. That fairness carried over to the second half where Purdue was able to hit on 6-8 free throws on OSU’s 8 fouls. Had the game been closer, my guess is OSU would have been whistled for more but in a game with a 20+ margin and under 5 minutes to go, the game needs to just go quickly and some non-calls are ok.
Overall, this was a well called game that was within the context of the rules that are laid out by the NCAA. If Purdue had this game called against Northwestern and Maryland, at worst they would have been 1-1 and very well could have been 2-0 (Purdue getting to the free throw line 15-20 more times against Maryland would have made a big difference).
2 | Fletcher Loyer vs. the 3pt Line
Loyer’s struggles were documented in my original article and though I thought he played well, he still only shot 1-4 (2-6 overall) and had a really bad turnover at the start of the game that led to an easy OSU bucket. Loyer is capable of quickly putting up 10-12 points within a 3 to 5 minute span but he needs the week off to refresh probably more so than anyone on the team right now.
3 | Zach Edey vs. Zed Key/Felix Okpara & the OSU Double Team
It’s amazing what the best player in the country can do when an opponent isn’t given an unfair advantage to just hack away to level the playing field against the 7’4 big man. Edey dominated on both ends of the floor and looked more like his usual self in going for 26 points on 11-20 shooting, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks but played sparingly in the second half as Kaufman-Renn controlled the low post to the tune of 11 points on 3-4 shooting (5-6 free throws), 3 rebounds, and 1 assist.
The biggest key though was the help that Edey got from the perimeter where Purdue shot 7-16 (43.8%) for the game. Shooting at the frequency helps slow the double teams down and or allows Purdue to get the defense into rotations to find open shots. That ability to make the extra pass to find the open shooter and make those shots is what really hurt OSU.
Well, I didn’t think Purdue would bounce back as easily as they did following the two straight losses and I thought OSU might be due for a game where they play above their head. OSU hasn’t played terrible basketball through their losing streak but they just can’t seem to make the plays needed when they present themselves and they certainly haven’t been able to sustain success for long stretches. Proof of that is OSU’s longest run was just 5-0 while Purdue had 7 runs of 6-0 or better throughout the game. I was just hopeful Purdue would find a way to win a game against a team that certainly has talent but just has seemingly struggled to put it together after a 10-3 start. Instead of simply trying to struggle to a 6 day break before the home game against IU, Purdue enters this rest period feeling good about itself and having some answers to lingering problems.