Current Score: Ohio State 37, Purdue 31
Only Iowa has a longer win streak in the league than OSU and Purdue entering tonight. The Buckeyes and Boilermakers have done it in different ways, but they're both playing well coming into a big conference matchup.
I like the way the Buckeyes came out offensively. They're sharing the ball well and connecting on the early looks they're getting from the outside. Justice Sueing (2) and Duane Washington (1) each have early 3-pointers. If they continue to shoot well, that might help open things up closer to the basket. It's a dangerous way for the Buckeyes to live though, as they've been extremely streaky from beyond the arc this year.
That said, Purdue likes to pack it in down in the paint. They've got the size and toughness to do that at a high level. If the Buckeyes can keep shooting well from deep, they could force Purdue to get away from what they do best.
Purdue's Trevion Williams came out hot with four points right out of the gate, but picked up his first foul just a couple minutes into the game and earned his second right at the 12-minute mark. He's been the Boiler's best player this year and he'll likely sit on the bench for the rest of the first half. Well done by Chris Holtmann's team to drive at him early and often.
Coach Holtmann burned a timeout with 10:04 left in the half, at which point the Buckeyes had hit just one of their last eight shots and Purdue took a 17-16 lead. Ohio State still didn't have a 2-point basket (0-for-3) to that point in the game ... something to keep an eye on the rest of the way.
Neither team is getting easy buckets at all. No fast break points, both teams are defending the paint at a high level.
Kyle Young hit a layup in traffic with 7:29 left in the first half ... that was the Buckeyes first 2-point basket of the game. Thankfully it didn't hurt them too much because they connected on nine trey's in the first half.
E.J. Liddell, Justice Sueing, Kyle Young and Justin Ahrens made an incredible play in the first half with about 6:30 to play. After Purdue missed a 3-ball, Liddell chased down a rebound in front of his own bench. He quickly threw the outlet pass to Sueing, who had fallen down at midcourt. Sueing caught the ball while sitting down and in one motion, redirected the pass to Young who was trailing him on the play. Young dribbled 10 feet, slung a pass cross-court to Ahrens, who buried the open 3-pointer.
That's what happens when you play hard. Really impressive sequence there from the Buckeyes.
After a timeout, the Buckeyes kept up the good run of form on offense. At one point, the offense had significantly cooled off and hit just 1-of-9 shots, but an 11-0 run pushed Ohio State up 32-23. That forced Matt Painter's hand and Trevion Williams had to come back in the game to keep the deficit from growing.
The Buckeyes shot the lights out from deep in the first half, led by Washington who hit four of them and has 14 points so far. But Purdue is hanging in there just fine. They are the youngest team in the league and impressively, they aren't folding on the road in the face of some adversity. In fact, they've actually made one more basket than the Buckeyes have from the floor. Eric Hunter Jr. is in double figures with 10.
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