The Buckeyes visited West Lafayette this evening and left Mackey Arena with a 74-64 win over Purdue and Thad Matta’s 100th conference victory. The Bucks used good shot selection and high-energy hustle to grab the lead and never relinquish it again. The Buckeyes rode the scoring of DeShaun Thomas again, who picked up 22 points and 7 rebounds, Aaron Craft (15) and Evan Ravenel (11). Purdue responded with scoring from Terone Johnson (18), A.J. Hammons (13), and Ronnie Johnson (11).
The first half started out as a high-paced affair. The Buckeyes came out of the gate with a lot more energy than they have shown all season, and Purdue seemed all too happy to play an up-tempo battle. Unfortunately for the Boilermakers the Buckeye’s shooting made a sudden and surprising reemergence. OSU hit nearly 65% at one point during the period, but had to do it without Aaron Craft who sat for 15 minutes with two fouls. Thankfully Shannon Scott has really turned it on this season and was able to get the job done in Craft’s place.
The Boilermakers began to chip away at the OSU double digit lead as soon as the second half began. They struck by playing aggressive offense in the paint and forcing the Buckeyes into bad fouls that got Purdue to the charity stripe. That brief spurt lead to a back and forth battle, with the Bucks occasionally regaining control of a 10 to 12 point lead, and Purdue sometimes working it back down to eight. Despite getting it down to six with just under two minutes left to play, Purdue couldn’t find any success against the tough Buckeye defense.
This game was a nice sight to see after the rough game on Saturday in Urbana-Champaign. The Bucks needed to come back from that tough loss and look like they learned something from it. Tonight they played like the game wasn’t an automatic win and were able to find more success than previously. Away wins in the Big Ten are not easy to come by, least of all wins in Mackey arena, so it’s great to steal this one away from Purdue.
The Buckeyes and Boilermakers are both coming off rough losses on the road. Unfortunately, Purdue gets the home-court advantage in tonight’s meeting.
Tonight’s game is scheduled for 9:00 PM Eastern Time. LiveBlog will tip off at 8:30 PM.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. Ohio State got it handed to them by Illinois on Saturday afternoon. The Buckeyes came out sluggish and were not ready to play as they fell to the Illini,74-55. Things in the Big Ten are not easy this season, least of all games played on the road. After a dismal performance against Illinois, Ohio State will look to rebound, on the road, against Purdue on Tuesday.
|Location:||West Lafayette, Indiana|
|Division:||NCAA Division 1|
|Head Coach:||Matt Painter|
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 newly-formed Buckeye Bloggers Network put their heads together again! This time we will be looking at the impact that each starter and the bench had on the game against Purdue on Tuesday night. The other blogs joining us in this venture are: The Buckeye Blog, Our Honor Defend, Buckeye House Call, OSU Silver Bullet, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray.
Lenzelle Smith has had quite a sophomore campaign for the Buckeyes. It was apparent early in the season that he had not fully realized his role on the team, as he struggled to score and to really gel in the framework of the starters. His recent games in Big Ten play have been a positive indication that he is understanding better what he needs to bring to this team.
What has made Smith a starter from day one has been his defensive intensity. While he is not the best defender on the court – how could he be, he plays next to Aaron Craft – he is certainly one of the better defenders on the team. Guards have typically struggled when playing the Buckeyes, and that has as much to do with Smith’s play as with Craft’s.
Smith has taken his successes on the defensive end and used them to grow on the offensive side. For a long time this season the running joke was that Smith’s over-under in scoring was five points, and that he would play like he was desperate to break it. Rare would be the game that he actually succeeded, it seemed.
And then Indiana happened – twice.
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.