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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 07, 2018 11:10 pm

Ohio State 64, Purdue 63: Quick thoughts

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

How it Happened

Both teams struggled shooting early, especially the Buckeyes (21-5, 12-1 Big Ten), who missed their first seven shots from the field.  Purdue got out to a 5-0 lead before Ohio State finally began hitting and an 8-0 run put the visiting team in front for the first time. It was really the only time the Buckeyes would lead in the half, as Purdue was the better team for most of the first 20 minutes. 

After a quiet performance against Rutgers, Isaac Haas was loud in the first half. The Boilermakers (23-3, 12-1) tried to force the ball into the big man early and often and the strategy worked as well it possibly could have. Not only did Haas score 16 of his team's first 26 points on a variety of hook shots and free throws, he got Ohio State big man Kaleb Wesson into foul trouble. The freshman picked up his third foul with more than five minutes remaining in the first half, putting the Buckeyes in a bind for the rest of the game as they were forced to manage his minutes.

The Boilermakers eventually opened up a significant lead, going in front by as many as nine points at 31-22 after a 9-2 run in the later stages of the first half. Carsen Edwards was the star of that spurt, scoring five of the points on a long triple and a tough pull-up jumper from the top of the key. He finished the first half with 12 points.

In the final minutes of the half, however, the Buckeyes regrouped and kept Purdue from opening up a commanding lead. Ohio State scored seven straight points to close the gap to 31-29 at the break. Keita Bates-Diop had a mostly quiet half, but he made a difficult fadeaway jumper from 17 feet and then dished to Jae'Sean Tate for a layup at the buzzer. 

The second half began much the same way as the first, with bad shots from both teams and several turnovers. Wesson, who was on the court at the start of the half, picked up his fourth foul with 16:54 to play and did not return to the game until late. He never did foul out. The Boilermakers continued to hold a slim lead thanks to a long triple from Dakota Mathias with 16 minutes to play. At that juncture, just three players (Haas, Carsen Edwards, and Mathias) had scored all night for Purdue.

A fourth Boilermaker finally got on the board when Vincent Edwards buried a triple to put his team up 42-36. It was the middle 3 of a trio that comprised a 9-2 run for Purdue and opened its lead back to nine with 13:16 left. Edwards made the other two, both from the same spot on the left wing, leading to an Ohio State timeout and a massive ovation from the Mackey crowd.

The run didn't stop there for Purdue. Carsen Edwards hit two more triples and made a layup in transition, eventually scoring 14 points during a 20-8 Boilermaker run that left Purdue up by double digits for the first time. The biggest play of the run was a 4-point play from Edwards, who hit a 3 while getting pushed in the chest.

Ohio State didn't go away, though. The Buckeyes scored seven straight points to close the gap to just five and had a chance to cut it to just one, but a Musa Jallow 3 rimmed out. Vincent Edwards drilled a 3 on the other end to give Purdue some breathing room again and on the same play, the Buckeyes' Tate suffered an ankle injury. Purdue led a Tate-less OSU team by seven with six minutes left.

The Buckeyes continued creeping closer as the game entered its final minutes. When guard Andrew Dakich drove the baseline for layup with 3:51 to go, it was a one-point game, with Purdue leading 58-57.

One of the bigger plays down the stretch was a block in transition by backup center Matt Haarms. The freshman got fouled rebounding on the offensive end, but no call was made. He raced down the court and swatted a layup attempt from guard CJ Jackson, pumping his fist wildly after the play.

The Buckeyes completed the comeback, however, when guard Andre Wesson banked home a triple with 1:14 to play, putting OSU up 62-60. On the next Purdue possession, Vincent Edwards got the ball down low and scored off the glass with a foul. He buried the free throw to give his team the lead again, but Bates-Diop played hero for Ohio State. On the final Buckeye possession, he put back a teammate's miss and the Buckeyes survived a final shot to win 64-63.

Player of the Game: Carsen Edwards

Haas dominated the first half, but Edwards dominated the second half, making just about everything he saw in the half and finishing with a career-high 28 points overall. He went 8 for 13 from the field, including 4 for 7 from beyond the 3-point line, while also chipping in six rebounds. It's difficult to overstate the spark he provided the Boilers and the crowd in the second half, even though Purdue didn't come away with the win.

Facts and Figures

Purdue's 19-game win streak is snapped, it was the 10th-longest streak in Big Ten history. ... The Boilermakers also won a school record 14 Big Ten games in a row. ... Ohio State remains the only Big Ten team that owns a winning record all-time against Purdue. It is now 90-86 against the Boilers. ... Purdue is now 8-2 in its last 10 games against ranked opponents, including 3-1 this season. ... The Boilers were outrebounded for the seventh consecutive game, 31-30. ... Purdue rebounded from three straight poor shooting nights to hit 8-for-20 from beyond the 3-point line. ... Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with 18 points. ... Haas finished with 18 points, but just two in the second half.

What's Next?

The Boilermakers are back in action Saturday for their second straight game against a top 15 opponent. They'll take on No. 4 Michigan State (23-3, 11-2) at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. The game will tip off at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN. The Spartans have won seven games in a row, including a 96-93 road victory over Iowa Tuesday. Sophomore Miles Bridges leads Michigan State at 17.7 points per game, while also pulling down 7.3 rebounds a night.