Shorthanded Buckeyes Blasted By Purdue
Playing without their leading scorer and rebounder, Kaleb Wesson, suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of Athletic Department policy, the Ohio State basketball Buckeyes ran into a buzz saw in West Lafayette, getting run out of the gym 86-51 to fall to 18-11 and 8-10 in Big Ten play. Freshman JaeDon LeDee, starting in place of Wesson led Ohio State with a career high tying 16 points. The Purdue win avenged the last home loss the Boilermakers have suffered, to Ohio State last season, and was the first time Purdue has swept a 2 game season series from Ohio State since 1998. The Big Ten’s leading scorer Carsen Edwards led Purdue with 25, who moved into first place in the Big Ten all by themselves after Michigan State was upset on the road at Indiana. The 35-point loss for Ohio State is their largest since losing 100-65 at Maryland in 2016.
The Buckeyes kept the game close very early with excellent perimeter defense, keeping the game tied at 4 at the first media timeout. Out of the timeout, the wheels fell off as 3 straight Boilermaker threes forced Chris Holtmann to take a timeout, with Purdue leading by 6 and 14 minutes to go in the half. Purdue continued their red-hot shooting out of the timeout, despite solid Buckeye defense, drilling their next 3 shot attempts, 2 from deep to lead by 11 at the under 12 media timeout. It seemed as if the Boilermakers would not miss again, making 6 straight shot attempts, 5 from long range, and many of them difficult as Ohio State needed to weather the storm. It would not happen and the Purdue offensive clinic continued as an 11-0 Boilermaker run gave Purdue a 32-13 lead at the under 8 media timeout. The lead would continue to expand as the Boilermakers unconscious shooting continued, which allowed them to extend the lead to 28 at the first half horn as the first half mercifully came to an end with Purdue leading 48-20 and Ohio State looking up at by far their largest deficit of the season. JaeDon LeDee led Ohio State with 6 first half points and Keyshawn Woods added 5. Purdue finished the half hitting 57% from the field including 8-14 from deep, while Ohio State made only 6 of 22 shot attempts. Without a true inside offensive presence, Purdue was able to extend their defense and forced Ohio State into 11 misses in 13 3 point shot attempts. The much bigger Boilermakers also dominated the glass, out rebounding the Buckeyes 23-11 in the first 20 minutes. Carsen Edwards led Purdue with 19 in the first half.
Christ Holtmann tried to shake it up after the half, starting Joey Lane and Keyshawn Woods in place of Luther Muhammad and Justin Ahrens but didn’t get any better for Ohio State as Purdue ballooned the lead to 60-24 with over 17 minutes remaining. The Buckeyes went on a little 4-0 run to cut it to 60-28 at the media timeout with 13:57 left in the game. The Buckeye run continued to 8-0 but the Buckeyes were still way behind, trailing 60-32 with just under 13 minutes to go. The run would be short lived as the Boilermakers built the lead to 76-39 at the under 8 timeout as the Buckeye misery continued. When the final horn sounded, the Buckeyes couldn’t get off the floor fast enough as they were completely outplayed and outclassed for nearly the entire 40 minutes.
This is the type of game you just flush and move on. Playing without Kaleb Wesson, the Boilermakers were able to extend their defense to the perimeter and force Ohio State into tough shots without any true offensive post threat and despite their best efforts, Purdue made seemingly every shot they put up. This is a much better team than we saw today without question but sometimes it just isn’t your day and that was most definitely the case today. They were dominated in every phase and playing undermanned, they played a Purdue team that may have played their best game of the season. We’ll see how long Wesson is out, but regardless, the Buckeyes need to regroup mentally in a hurry, facing a must win in their next game, playing conference doormat Northwestern on the road.
The Buckeyes head to Evanston, Illinois to face the aforementioned Wildcats for a 9 PM tip on Wednesday night airing on BTN.