And the Beat Goes On

Buckeyes Losing Streak Continues, Blasted by #3 Purdue on the Road

#3 Purdue broke a 2 rame losing streak, sending Ohio State down to their 8th straight loss and 13 the in 14 tries, downing the visiting Buckeyes 82-55. Purdue utilized a dominating effort on the glass, out rebounding Ohio State 44-21, leading to a 40-20 points in the paint advantage along with a 17-8 advantage on second chance opportunities to run away with it in the second half. The Boilers also enjoyed a 21-6 advantage at the stripe to pull away for the decisive victory. Brice Sensabaugh led Ohio State with 20 and Sean McNeil chipped in 10. Purdue’s National Player of the Year candidate Zach Edey led the Boilermakers with 26 points and 11 rebounds. 

Ohio State opened with backcourt pressure and a pair of steals led to 3 Buckeye points and a Gene Brown triple fueled an early 8-2 Buckeye lead. Purdue proceeded to go on a 10-2 run, thanks to a pair of threes to grab a 2 point lead and at the first media timeout, the Boilers led 12-10. The run went to 12-2, increasing the lead to 4 before a pair of 17 foot Sean McNeil jumpers tied the game. A Zach Edey dunk, his 7th and 8th point of the game, put Purdue back in front at the under 12, and with 11:34 to play in the first half, Purdue was clinging to a 16-14 lead. A pair of Purdue free throws extended the lead, but another McNeil jumper cut the Purdue advantage back to two. Five Boilermaker free throws around an Ice Likekele bucket from the right block put Purdue up 5. A triple ballooned the lead to 8 and at the under 8 media timeout, Purdue led 26-18 with the Boilers on a 6-0 run. A Buckeye steal led to a Sensabaugh lay-in to end the run and cut the lead to 6, but three free throws on the other end put Purdue up 9. The lead increased to 11 before a dribble drive and score high off the window by Justice Sueing cut the lead back to 9. After Purdue split a pair of free throws, Sensabaugh drilled a three from the right wing to cut the deficit to 7, but another Edey score at the rim put Purdue up 34-25 at the final media timeout of the half. After Purdue split a pair of freebies, McNeil drilled a jumper and a Purdue turnover led to a fast break where Sueing was fouled getting to the rim. Sueing drilled both to cut the lead to 6 and with a pair of trips to cut into the lead even more, Ohio State went empty and Purdue split a pair of free throws to increase the lead to 7 and after Ohio State missed a chance to finish the half strong, Purdue took advantage as a tip dunk just before the horn by Purdue’s Zach Edey, where it appeared to be offensive goaltending that was not called, sent the teams to the locker room with Purdue leading 38-29. Both teams shot it at a 43% clip in the first half, with Purdue hitting 3 of 9 from deep while Ohio State hit 2 of 7. While Purdue was dominating the glass to the tune of a 21-11 advantage, but the foul disparity, 11 whistled on Ohio State compared to just 6 for Purdue led to a free throw advantage for the Boilermakers, hitting 15 of 19 compared to just 3 of 4 for Ohio State was the difference. Ohio State was led by Brice Sensabaugh’s 9 and Sean McNeil’s 8 in the first half and Purdue was led by Zach Edey’s 16. 

Purdue opened the half with a triple to open the lead to 12 and with Ohio State’s first two possessions resulting in turnovers, the lead hit 14 before a Bruce Thornton jumper above the line fell. After a pair of Felix Okpara blocks on the other end, finally a loose ball fell into Edey’s arms who dropped in a jump hook and Chris Holtmann took a timeout, visibly upset with his group as Purdue led 45-31 with 17:45 remaining in the game. Out of the timeout, Thornton lobbed to Okpara who finished with a dunk, but a defensive lapse led to a layup on the other end to maintain the 14 point Boiler lead. Isaac Likekele got downhill and scored off the glass while being fouled. After missing the free throw with a chance to cut into the lead, more Edey, as he scored at point blank range off the glass. After an Ohio State turnover, Purdue scored on the fast break with an uncontested lay up. The Boilers went up 18 before a Roddy Gayle triple trimmed the lead to 15 and Ohio State took a timeout with 12:20 left in the game. Purdue scored the next 6 to go up 21 with less than 10 to play. Sensabaugh drilled a three from the left wing ending the run and cut the lead to 18, but Purude answered with a three of their own and the Boilers were running away with it. A Brown lay in off a Sensabaugh feed led to the under 8 media timeout with Purdue in control, leading the Buckeyes 62-43. The Purdue lead extended to 26 before the Buckeyes finally got on the board again with an Okpara bucket. Purdue continued their onslaught, going up 76-45 before Sensabaugh’s old-fashioned three point play cut the deficit to 28. With Purdue coach Matt Painter cleaning his bench, a pair of McNeil free throws cut it to 76-50 with 2 minutes to play. A Purdue dunk put an exclamation point on this one and after a Buckeye miss, another Purdue score preceded a long Sensabaugh three. Purdue scored again before a tip-in by Sensabaugh completed the scoring. 

For anyone who thinks this team has quit on their coach, that assumption can be put to bed. The effort in this game was on full display.  Ohio State was aggressive from the outset, playing with energy from the jump and the aggressiveness certainly gave the Purdue backcourt issues, especially early. Unfortunately, that level of aggressiveness was just unsustainable for 40 minutes and a worn down Buckeye team hit the wall in the second half as Purdue pulled away. The Purdue size clearly was a problem for Ohio State, playing without Zed Key, who hasn’t been effective even when on the floor since the injury in the first Purdue game. While this season has certainly been a tough one in many ways, their effort in this game cannot be questioned. The good news long term is the freshmen will turn to sophomores and the incoming class is wrought with talent, so while this season is unsalvageable at this point, there is some promise in the not so distant future. Assuming a transfer or two, those spots will need to be filled by an offensive big to add depth in the post as Key’s injury history and Okpara’s continued development will need some help heading into next season. Fans just need to exercise a little patience, trust in the process and better days will be ahead. Until then, another opportunity to improve comes on Thursday. 

Ohio State returns home for the next one, hosting Penn State in the Schott on Thursday evening.  Tip time is scheduled for 6:30 PM and airing on FS1.

-Jason Harris

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