Following an overtime victory from the Michigan Wolverines, the Buckeyes and Purdue locked horns for the right to face the Maize and Blue. Jared Sullinger lead all scorers with an impressive 30 points, and picked up a double double with 12 rebounds, as the Buckeyes defeated the Purdue Boilermakers 88-71. All of Ohio State’s starters scored in double digits tonight, while DJ Byrd led Purdue with 20 points on 4-10 from three point range. Robbie Hummel scored only 6 points and 10 rebounds in what may be his last Big Ten game.
Ohio State started the game playing their style of basketball. After a rough opening tip, the Bucks took advantage of numbers and attacked the rim giving Jared Sullinger an easy layup. William Buford also found an easy high bucket, setting up Deshaun Thomas later for a wide open trey. They coupled the strong offense with tough defense and excellent rebounding that prevented Purdue from finding a basket until more than three minutes had ellapsed.
As a team, the Buckeyes looked renewed following their two away wins. Where the team had struggled to find their groove early in away games, they found traction in this game early and raced ahead of the surprised Boilermakers. Robbie Hummel’s three pointer ended the drought, but failed to open up the OSU defense in any meaningful way. With Purdue’s offense sputtering, Matt Painter was forced to dig deep into his bench looking for some kind of production from his team.
Thad Matta continued to look to his bench early despite this being the late season when most coaches shorten the bench. Sam Thompson came in for Lenzelle Smith early and quickly established himself on the scoreboard with a nice 15 foot jumper from the left side. He was soon joined on the court by fellow bench-mate Evan Ravenel, who subbed in at the five after Jared Sullinger picked up his first foul.
The Buckeyes and Purdue meet tonight at around 9:00 PM EST on BTN for the second round of the Big Ten Tournament! Purdue, the six seed, defeated 11-seeded Nebraska last night to advance to play the Buckeyes, who enter on a round 1 bye.
While you wait for the game, go check out our friends in the Buckeye Bloggers Network! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Fox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual. The liveblog will kickoff at 8:30 PM EST.
The Buckeyes get their March Madness on tonight, as a top seed in the Big dance might just “boil down” to tonight’s key match-up with Purdue at 9 PM ET on Big Ten Network. Paul Keels and Ron Stokes will have the call on the Ohio State Radio Network, as well as online.
What’s in store for tonight on the hardwood?
For the Buckeyes, it’s a tournament championship or bust. Just ask William Buford who has been to three straight championship games. His 14 points per game in Big Ten tournament games is a true testament of what he’s meant to the Buckeyes in post season play. Thad Matta’s club has six straight wins in the precursor to the pantheon of college basketball. Without a doubt, this team has been through it’s challenges past few years. Of course there is the overtime thriller last year against Northwestern in the tournament quarterfinals. How about the sword in the heart that Evan Turner turned in against the rival house, as the last breath of hope for a tournament championship waited in the wings.
For every success story though is a setback.
One miscue, and it’s over. You don’t have time to lose focus. All that matters is what’s ahead of you. March Madness and tournament play is like a pit fight to the death. It doesn’t matter if you’re more athletic, stronger, or have more speed. In a split second, anyone can take your legs from under you.
And follow it up with a dagger that takes your life.
The Purdue Boilermakers, the last team to beat Ohio State in Value City Arena, made an attempt to do it again tonight and very nearly succeed. The Buckeyes escaped the upset bid, winning 87-84 against a surprisingly accurate shooting night from Purdue who hit an excellent 57.9% from beyond the arc. William Buford had a huge night for OSU scoring 29 points and scooping up 7 rebounds to keep the Buckeyes in the game. Jared Sullinger added 18 and 6 while Purdue’s D.J. Byrd put in 24 and 6 for the Boilermakers.
Surprisingly, Matt Painter chose not to start Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith, replacing them with bench players Kelsey Barlow and D.J. Byrd. The mix-up in the starters was due to Purdue’s poor play against Indiana at home. Playing like crap against your biggest rival is not conducive to making your head coach very happy.
Despite a couple early gaffes the Buckeyes jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on the strength of Sullinger inside and a Lenzelle Smith three. The rapid start forced Painter to call a quick timeout, hoping to get some more energy out of his guys. The pause worked as Purdue came out of the timeout with better effort on both ends and quickly tied up the score at 7. It was an impressive turnaround, and showed a flash of the Purdue we’ve grown accustomed to the last few seasons.
Continuing his trend of frequent early rotations, Matta brought Sam Thompson into the game with 14 minutes left in the first half. With the game still close, it was yet another sign that the young freshman has really started to earn his coach’s trust – especially on the defensive end of the court. JD Weatherspoon also got time later in the first half demonstrating his improving presence for this basketball team. Weatherspoon may not be getting regular appearances yet, but he’s getting closer to it.
Ohio State has returned to the friendly confines of Columbus to play the Purdue Boilermakers this evening! ESPN is airing the game today, which is set to tip at 9:00 PM EST in Value City Arena.
While you wait, go checkout our Buckeye Blogger Network friends! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio. They will all be joining us at 8:30 PM for the start of our liveblog.
If you’re looking for web-video for the game, try First Row Sports (warning: pop-up ads). Click the basketball tab, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right game.
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.
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