It doesn’t feel like it, but it has only been a couple of weeks since the Buckeyes soundly curb-stomped Purdue in Columbus. Unfortunately, it’s already time for our return trip; the chance for Matt Painter’s team to try to redeem themselves in front of their home crowd.
As usual, since we’ve already looked at the team once, we’ll take the time to focus on what has happened since the last time we tangled with the Boilers. For the most part, it’s been nothing but sunshine and daisies in West Lafayette.
Since that day, the day that might pay the Boilers back for Purdue-harbor, Purdue has played five games. They went 4-1 in the stretch, including both of their games against Wisconsin and two road games: at Wisconsin and at Illinois. Their one loss came exactly a week after they fell to the Buckeyes, losing to Wisconsin 66-59 at the Kohl Center.
Purdue got to pay the Badgers back, however, catching them Wednesday night with a 70-62 win at home. That game was a close affair the whole way, with Wisconsin holding the lead through the first 10 minutes before letting it slip away.
That would be the last time they lead the whole game. Despite that, they held pace and put themselves in a position to work the usual end-of-game comeback magic. Unfortunately, sometimes that strategy only serves to make the spread worse, as it did here.
#1 Ohio State and #12 Purdue locked horns in Columbus this evening for early control of the Big Ten conference. After Purdue neglected to take the floor, the Buckeyes cruised to a lopsided 87-64 win. Purdue simply had no answer for the Buckeyes on either side of the court, with only Johnson and Moore finding any sort of scoring success against the tough Buckeye defense. Six Buckeyes broke double figures, including William Buford’s team leading 19. With the win, the Buckeyes advance to 21-0, which is one shy of tying* their second best start in program history, sharing with the 1960-’61 National Runner-up team.
I would like to take a moment to yell at ESPN. We know full well that you’re the new name of SEC sports, and you have vested interest when the Florida/Georgia game goes into double overtime. However, the Big Ten market doesn’t particularly care about your mid-level SEC basketball game, especially once Florida secures a 12 point lead with not enough time left on the clock for a UGA comeback. I almost wish this game had been on the Big Ten Network.
Buford came out of the gate with the hot hand, sinking two quick three pointers to open the game for the Bucks. Purdue’s strategy, to double team Sully by sloughing a defender off Buford, gave Will the wide open looks he needed to rain in the big opening shots. While the strategy seemed to take Sullinger out of the game, it was the same “pick your poison” option as the OSU shooters took advantage of it.
Purdue had absolutely no answer for the Buckeyes in the early going. On both ends of the court, Ohio State had their number on the way to an early 26-9 lead that left the Boiler’s completely stunned. It seemed as if whatever Purdue wanted to do, OSU had the immediate answer. Worse yet, JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore had combined for 2-7 shooting for a total of 5 points 10 minutes into the game. Exactly what Purdue didn’t want to happen to start the game.
Welcome to your Purdue LiveBlog! The Boiler’s arrive in Columbus tonight to try to even up each team’s respective Big Ten record. A win here would put OSU two games ahead in the regular season race about half way through – a good position to be in. Unfortunately, with this being the second game of a murderer’s row slate, it’s tough to imagine the Bucks pulling away from the pack.
The game starts at 9pm Eastern Time, LiveBlog at 8:30 as usual.
Hope to see you here! Go Bucks!
After their exciting and impressive win at Illinois on Saturday, the Buckeyes return to the friendly confines of Columbus to play what could very well be one of the biggest games of the season. The Purdue Boilermakers, fresh off an impressive home victory of Michigan State, stand at 6-1 in Big Ten play and may very well be the toughest home test for the Bucks this season. Let’s take a look.
|Location:||West Lafayette, Indiana|
|Head Coach:||Matt Painter|
Matt Painter’s Boilers came into the season riding high expectations – in fact, the highest expectations in the Big Ten outside of East Lansing. Read More