The Ohio State Buckeyes headed to Mackey Arena with an improbable 11-1 record in the Big Ten. A win and they would technically be in the lead for the regular season crown. Standing in their way was a talented Purdue Boilermakers that are ranked third in the country and were sitting at a perfect 12-0 in conference play. The magnitude of the game was not lost on the production crew at Purdue and with the BTN that was covering the game.
"8:37 tip" pic.twitter.com/ba3lNg5KjA— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) February 8, 2018
Maybe not everyone was impressed with the pregame theatrics, but it did get the sellout crowd up on their feet. One thing I noticed was that the two Ohio born players in Purdue’s starting lineup, Dakota Mathias and Vincent Edwards, seemed particularly hyped.
Sadly, the opening basketball action did not match the excitement. It was ugly. In Ohio State’s first two possessions, they managed a line drive off the backboard as the shot clock expired and a fade-away air-ball three. The Buckeyes started 0-7 from the floor and Purdue wasn’t much better, as the teams combined to go 2-12 at the first TV timeout.
After Jae’Sean Tate broke the seal at the 14:26 mark for Ohio State, less than a minute later the Buckeyes were leading 6-5.
The two teams looked better after that, but not particularly great. There was a contested three at the 6:47 mark from Purdue that raised my eyebrows. I missed who shot it, and then I looked on the live stats feed, it wasn’t there. Hate that particular live stats feed. Anyway, back on point, the three was impressive and it got the crowd on their feet. A Hass bunny turned them rabid and it was a critical moment for Ohio State. Andre Wesson answered with a three, but the roller coaster was not over for Buckeye fans, as Caleb Wesson picked up his third foul. Then a foul on the three pointer resulted with 3 free throws and a 22-18 Purdue lead.
Purdue then used Isaac Haas underneath and at the line and a Carsen Edwards three to build a 29-21 lead, their biggest of the game.
After a jumper by Edwards with 2 minutes left in the first half, the Buckeyes called a timeout, sensing momentum could turn. They certainly didn’t want to be down by 10 at the half, with such a hostile environment.
Musa Jallow, who hasn’t been particularly great from three this year, nailed his second of the game and that was followed up by a Purdue turnover. Great timeout by coach of the year Chris Holtmann.
A Keita Bates-Diop assist to Tate as time expired gave us a 31-29 Purdue lead at the half.
As a Buckeye fan, I was optimistic, as they fought back at a couple of crucial points in the game. Probable Big Ten player of the year Bates-Diop was sitting at 8 points and 5 rebounds, but looked unimpressive until the end of the half. I felt he was ready to break out offensively. If I were a Purdue fan, I would have been slightly more optimistic, as they also struggled to shoot and looked better as the half wore on. More importantly, they came into the game as the better team and had home court advantage.
Interesting stat of the day, Ohio State had one offensive rebound at the half, while Purdue had zero.
15:42 2nd: #Purdue leads 36-33 after Mathias' second 3-pointer of the game.— Purdue Men’s Basketball (@BoilerBall) February 8, 2018
One of OSU's baskets this half came on an offensive rebound, the only 2nd-chance points of the game.#BoilerUp pic.twitter.com/OtN3vcVnan
The second half started off just as bad as the first before the Buckeyes tied the score at 33, then a Mathias three before the first t.v. timeout gave me optimism that the second half was setting up for some fantastic basketball.
A three from Vincent Edwards sandwiched in between a couple from Carsen Edwards, and Purdue was up 45-36 with 13:16 left to play. Half of the teams stepped up. The crowd was going nuts and things looked bleak for the Buckeyes. After the timeout the Bucks rushed a three and Purdue got a good look. Bates-Diop then rushed a shot and things looked bleaker after a foul on Tate with the shot clock running down.
Purdue then went on a run and the game was over. By the 10 minute mark it was 53-39. Or was it, Jallow hit another three to put the Bucks down 10. He was shooting in the 20s from beyond the arch coming into the game.
At the 6:51 mark, Bates-Diop hit a fun shot where Tate hit him on the post and he double handed an overhead layup to put the Buckeyes down by 5.
An Andre Wesson three put the Bucks down 4 and Jallow had a three attempt to really make it a game. In an out. Vincent Edward’s wasn’t, and Purdue kept the Buckeyes in a two possession game until a Bates-Diop layup put the Bucks down 3 with a little more than 4 minutes to go.
An Andrew Dakich wide open layup in the half court offense made it a one point game. Purdue managed to build a 60-57 layup, after some action that got didn’t result in points but got the crowd on their feet, Holtmann called a timeout with 2:06 left, with only 9 seconds left on the shot clock. C.J. Jackson’s floater circled the rim, and it was Matt Painter’s turn to call a timely timeout.
Vincent Edwards missed a quality three and Andre Wesson banked in a three to give the Buckeyes a two point lead. Edwards redeemed himself with a traditional three point play and Purdue was up 1 with less than a minute to go. After a Tate miss in the lane, the Buckeyes got the rare offensive rebound and with 16.2 second left, Ohio State called timeout with a chance to win and the shot clock off.
Senior Tate showed his heart and drove the lane hard got a contested layup and missed, but Bates-Diop followed the penetration with a put back and the Bucks were up with 2.8 seconds. Painter called the last timeout of the game with Purdue’s home winning streak on the line. The last time they lost in Mackey, January 1st, 2017.
A full court pass gave Haas a chance with a fade-away from 10. Didn’t fall, Buckeyes stole the game, 64-63.