Strong Second Half from Ross Gives OSU Road Win at Purdue

By Mike Young on December 31, 2013 at 3:03p
LaQuinton Ross finished with a career-high 25 points at Purdue.

Ohio State battled frontcourt foul trouble throughout, but pulled away from Purdue in the second half for a 78-69 road win.

LaQuinton Ross led the way with 17 of his career-high 25 points in the second half, as the Buckeyes outscored the Boilermakers 44-36. He also grabbed 12 rebounds for his third consecutive game with a double-double. Aaron Craft aggressively created offense throughout, finishing with seven points, eight rebounds and 10 assists. Combined, Ohio State had 21 assists, a season high. 

Craft's trademark hustle was on display, particularly during a sequence midway through the first half. After his transition layup was blocked, he sprinted down the floor to contest a three-pointer, grabbed the rebound, spun and went coast-to-coast again for a lay-in. 

Shannon Scott was the third and final Buckeye in double figures with 18 points, also a career high.

Amir Williams and Trey McDonald picked up two fouls early in the first half, forcing the Buckeyes to go to a smaller lineup and shifted Ross' defensive responsibilities to covering Purdue center A.J. Hammons. He scored 18 points and dominated the boards with 16, but he received little help from the perimeter. Purdue only hit three of their 14 shots from beyond the arc.

With their size advantage, the Boilermakers had 15 offensive rebounds, but failed to convert on numerous chances at the rim. They had only one more second-chance point than Ohio State. 

Williams picked up a third foul early in the second half, sending him to the bench until under four minutes remained. Head coach Thad Matta wasn't even sure he'd play at all.

97.1 The Fan's Paul Keels reported Williams was ill enough to require hospitalization three days ago due to an "undisclosed illness" and was a game time decision, according to Matta. Marc Loving was also battling a back injury, but he came off the bench to add eight points.  

The Buckeyes will play Nebraska, Saturday, their first home game during conference play. 



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headina's picture

Thank you for a monster game Q. As always craft is a all around stud, and good to see loving play some good minutes. 


tennbuckeye19's picture

Good road win! 
Ross was an absolute beast in this game. Scoring, sinking free throws, rebounding, stealing, blocking. He did some work today.
What the heck has happened to Sam Thompson? 

kevdale86's picture

Sometimes it seems that all he does is shoot 3's and alley oops. Neither were happening today, he just never was in the flow of the offense. Scott was hot from outside and Q was getting his inside.

Killer nuts's picture

Great win on the road. Craft is a stat sheet stuffer. Admirable job by Laquinton to defend Hammonds on one end and carry the offensive load at the other.

Knarcisi's picture

Just caught up and finished on DVR. 
Was it me or was that the whiniest crowd you've ever seen?

tennbuckeye19's picture

Purdue fans are terrible.
They need to just shut the freak up and go make some boilers for crying out the upstairs window...

raiderred's picture

Every single play they booed. I have no respect for them

Seattle Linga's picture

They are still made for the royal gridiron beatdown.

trukjo's picture

Young, spoiled & self-entitled Boilermaker fans living in past glory.  Get over it & earn the respect, don't expect it.

bucksfan92's picture

I know it's been a couple years since we have played up there, and I don't remember them bing that bad before, but yeah they were jsut a chorus of boos for no reason.  If they keep it up they will give K-State fans and their "octagon of boo" a run for their money.

yrro's picture

Don't forget Scott's 18 points! Dude is a beast and gets little to no hype for it.

rosycheeks's picture

Shannon Scott might be the key to this team. I've noticed since mid-last year that OSU is at its best when he gets his hands on the ball and pushes in transition. Sometimes he plays with a real offensive fire and aggressiveness, and it makes all the difference in the world.

trukjo's picture

The behind the back pass to Amir was brilliant!

kellis203's picture

Great road win for the Bucks..thoughts:
-Craft, Ross, and Smith Jr. were great. Bring these games every time and Buckeyes will be tough.
-Loved Scott looking confident when taking shots... pull-up j on the wing was smooth. Hoping that becomes a consistent thing for him.
-Matta going with Loving for much of the first half and a good portion of the second half is telling in my opinion of his confidence in Loving's game. And he showed much better poise on the road at Purdue than he did in MSG. Excited to watch him as the season goes along. 
-Amir actually displayed good hands today in the few minutes he was on the court.
-Sam Thompson, ahhh, I feel for him, going through shooting slumps can be confidence killers - he's in such a bad slump he can't even finish his dunks! *oof* 
-Road win in the B1G... I'll take it! 

AWalk3r1's picture

what is the saying win at home steal one or two on the road, and you will always be in the mix ! 


Joe Beale's picture

Kelli, be careful with all of that brilliant analysis or we may have to put you on staff.

Seattle Linga's picture

Hey now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maestro's picture

Study hard in P.T. school.  It's worth it.
Go Bucks!!

vacuuming sucks

kellis203's picture

Two semesters down, seven to go! Thanks for the encouragement! 

Picksixx's picture

Great road win. A couple of thoughts:
1. When Ross is assertive on the offensive end and active on the defensive end like he was today, that is the difference between OSU as a top team in the Big Ten and a sweet 16 team and a final four/national title contender. The team defense and the ball movement have been fantastic alll year and willl continue to be there. If Q is assertive like he was today, OSU has a great chance to go to and win at Jerry World in April.
2. Craft was classic Craft today. Great on the defensive end, scored when he needed too, and got his teammates open looks. He's never going to be a great outside shooter and we don't need him to be. He does so many of the small things well on and continues to make everyone on the team better. Also continues to be a great leader.
3. Ball movement was excellent today like it has been for most of the year. This was not the case last year at times. As long as they continue to move the ball like they have the Bucks will get good looks. Best ball movement I've seen since the 2011 season. Very encouraged. Even though we missed some shots I thought we got great looks today. They'll start to fall more as the season goes on.
4. Scott I feel like his finally finding his shot. I feel like it was a confidence thing for him and now it's starting to click for him. Loving has a nice stroke as well and I think his playing time will continue to go up. 
5. One thing I'd like to see some improvement on is rebounding on the defensive end. I know we run out some small line ups often which leads to a size disadvantage on the boards at times. However they still gave up way too many second chance points and was really the only reason we didn't win by more. If we can at least cut that rebounding margin in half I'd be ok with it.
Winning on the road in college basketball is always tough even against average to below average teams. Kansas lost to last place TCU last year and Michigan lost to last place Penn State last year as well. Never take a road win in college basketball for granted. Great win. Let's take care of business at home against Nebrasketball to set up our first huge test of the year at the Breslin Center. Go Bucks!

Hovenaut's picture

Got home early, caught the second half as the wife went out and the boy passed out (nap).

Good road win, as Purdue always seems to play the Buckeyes tough. If Ohio State can find a way to score in the 70's consistently, I'm eager to see how far this group can go.

skid21's picture

Need more Loving.

Seattle Linga's picture

Missed the game - does anybody know if the game was as close as the score?

skid21's picture

DVRed it. It was close in the first half but the Buckeyes led most of the second half.

Seattle Linga's picture

Thanks skid - I'm stuck in the 80's without a DVR. 

Deadly Nuts's picture

Anybody else notice that three of the four tourney teams we played last year are currently undefeated? Iowa State, Arizona and Wichita State.


Zimmy07's picture

Ross looked good on defense.  He defended Hammons better than Amir or Trey, I thought.
Trey McDonald played better than I've ever seen him play before and that might be big for the conference run.

Nutinpa's picture

Agree with your compliment toward Ross.  Yes, he did play Hammons better than Amir and Trey.....cuz he owned both of them.  I thought it was Telling how little Matta played his bigs in the 2nd half, foul issues duly they were both ineffective on both sides of the court. No disrespect to you, zimmy....but if that performance by Trey was "better than you'd seen him play before"....then you must have set the bar pretty low.  McDonald seems like a really nice young man and may have huge potential....but his skills and those of Amir's are woefully lacking...and I say that acknowledging Amir has improved vs. last year.  (edit: did not realize Amir had been ill earlier in the week; that alone, may explain his lack of PT)
Bottom line, very good, resilient win in a tough road venue.  But the smurf line up that Thad went to for a long stretch was extremely telling.  Will be really interesting to see how or if this team can man up vs. Sparty next week.

Zimmy07's picture

I have set the bar pretty low on Trey - he has not played well enough to even get in a game other than mop up duty until now from what I've seen - and even then I thought he fouled a lot and had no offense.
In this game he still fouled but not so bad that he couldn't play 7 minutes during real game time.  I actually think that is much improved from what I've seen previously.

O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

This team plays remarkable defense across the board. Hell, I'm excited to watch them play Nebraska because of how well they are working. Way to send 2013 out on a strong note, go Bucks!