COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jaden Ivey made a stepback 3-pointer with five seconds left and Purdue came from behind to beat No. 15 Ohio State 67-65 at Value City Arena tonight. Trevion Williams had 16 points and seven rebounds, while Ivey and Sasha Stefanovic had 15 points apiece. It was a career-high for the freshman. The Boilermakers have won four in a row and are 11-5 and 6-3 in Big Ten play.
- Purdue's shooting has (mostly) disappeared: During its run of three straight trips to the Sweet 16 from 2017 to 2019, Purdue was one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country all three years, finishing in the top 10 twice. The Boilermakers collapsed from 43rd nationally in 2018-19 to 199th last season, but they seemed to have rebounded early this season, with Stefanovic leading the charge on a team that used its interior presence to create opportunities on the outside. In recent games, however, the Boilermakers have struggled mightily from beyond the arc. They went a ghastly 3 for 24 against Michigan State, then 6 for 32 against Penn State on Sunday and 5 for 20 tonight. Although there was a terrific 11-for-17 performance against Indiana sprinkled in there, it has not been a great month for Purdue in the shooting department. Meanwhile, Ohio State was 14 of 35 from 3-point range tonight. It's great to have Williams and Zach Edey dominating in the post, but Purdue loses a lot of the advantage they create if teams can feel comfortable double-teaming those big guys, knowing the Boilermakers won't take full advantage of the good shots that creates on the perimeter. It's not one particular player that's struggling, but rather a team-wide issue that needs to get figured out if Purdue is going to thrive going forward. Of course, it helps that the Boilers made two huge 3s in the final minute of this game after missing 15 of their first 18.
- Stefanovic is a playmaker: The Purdue junior guard hasn't been shooting the ball particularly well by his lofty standards, going just 7 for 23 in the last four games from 3-point range. He's still found ways to be effective, however, and his evolving game was on display tonight. The Crown Point native is much better going to the rim than he was last season and consequently much more dangerous from 2-point range. A quick rundown of his highlights tonight: he came off a curl cut and drilled a jumper from 15 feet plus a foul for an old-fashioned 3-point play, drove to the rim and finished for another basket plus a foul and shot-faked his way into the lane for a nifty floater over a much taller defender. Later in the second half, he shot-faked again, drove into the lane and floated one home to knot the game at 50. Finally, after missing his first four 3-point attempts, he confidently buried a 3 with less than a minute left to knot the score at 64. He finished 5 for 9 from the field and also grabbed four rebounds, including a couple in traffic. Stefanovic is a much more all-around player this year and he helps Purdue with more than just his shooting.
- Purdue's defense toughed it out: A point of emphasis for Purdue going into this game was obviously to guard the ball aggressively and try to take advantage of Ohio State's limited depth at guard with point guard C.J. Walker out because of a hand injury. The Boilermakers did a solid job of pressuring the ball most of the game, forcing Ohio State into a ton of difficult shots when the Buckeyes tried to get the ball into the paint. Matt Painter was shouting at his team to guard more tightly most of the night and the Boilers responded with some of the best pressure it has put together this season. Ohio State shot just 33% on 2-pointers. That pressure began to show in the second half. The Buckeyes turned the ball over seven times in the second half after just four in the first half, and they did not have enough firepower inside against Purdue's stingy defense to stay in front. Purdue kept coming, kept playing defense and got enough offense down the stretch to pull out its biggest win of the season to date. There are nits to pick, but coach Matt Painter will probably like this defensive effort.
Player of the Game: Jaden Ivey
Pudue freshman guard Jaden Ivey made a stepback 3-pointer with five seconds left to lift Purdue over No. 15 Ohio State. Ivey finished with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting. He added four rebounds and two assists.
Purdue was coming off just one day of rest after beating Penn State on Sunday. It was the quickest turnaround for the Boilermakers in Big Ten play since February 2000. ... Purdue has played five of its last six games on the road. ... Ohio State was without point guard C.J. Walker, who was out with a hand injury. He averages 8.7 points and 4.2 assists. ... OSU has a 91-90 lead in the all-time series against Purdue, the only Big Ten team with a winning record against the Boilermakers. ... Purdue is just 4-14 at Value City Arena. The first three times the Boilers have won in this stadium, they went on to win the Big Ten title. ... Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Purdue is 22-22 against ranked opponents. Its 22 wins in that span are tied for eighth nationally. ... Ohio State came into the game No. 11 nationally in free throws made with more than 18 per game. The Buckeyes went 11 for 17 from the stripe tonight. ... Purdue won the rebounding battle 38-30.
Purdue is back in action Friday when it plays host to No. 7 Michigan (11-1, 6-1 Big Ten) at Mackey Arena. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. The Wolverines suffered their first loss of the season in their most recent matchup, against Minnesota, but are still tied for the lead in the conference standings with Iowa. They face Maryland at home tonight before traveling to West Lafayette.