Top-Ranked Purdue Hands Ohio State Its First Home Loss of the Season, 71-69, in Wire-to-Wire Thriller

By Griffin Strom on January 5, 2023 at 9:08 pm

For the fifth straight time in the all-time series, Ohio State and Purdue went down to the wire on Thursday. But for the fourth time in the last five, the Buckeyes came up short.

The top-ranked Boilermakers spoiled Ohio State’s unblemished 7-0 record at the Schottenstein Center in a 71-69 win, bouncing back from their first loss of the season on Monday to tally the first mark in the Buckeyes’ own conference loss column.

Team 1 2 FINAL
#24 OHIO STATE 36 33 69
#1 PURDUE 33 38 71

A one- or two-possession game for the entire second half as both sides traded leads, Sean McNeil hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 40 seconds to. But following a Justice Sueing turnover, Purdue nailed a 3-pointer from the wing to go back up by two. Ohio State had the last shot with 6.4 seconds to go, but Brice Sensabaugh never got a shot off.

The Buckeyes caught a bad break early as Zed Key left the game in the opening few minutes with a shoulder injury and did not return. That left true freshman Felix Okpara as the Buckeyes’ lone big man to guard 7-foot-4 Purdue center Zach Edey. Okpara and company did well to slow Edey down early, holding him to 2-for-6 from the field in the first half, but that didn’t keep Purdue out of the game long.

After taking a three-point deficit to halftime, Purdue got out in front of the Buckeyes early in the second period as Edey found his rhythm. Ohio State hung around the rest of the way, though, going blow-for-blow with the nation’s No. 1 team until the very end.

Despite the end-of-game miss, Sensabaugh had a standout 21-point performance to lead the way for Ohio State, and he hit or assisted on several go-ahead buckets down the stretch.

Edey and Braden Smith combined to score 32 points for the Boilermakers in the win.

First Half

Sensabaugh slammed home a two-handed dunk to the delight of the Columbus crowd to break the ice on the Buckeyes’ opening possession, and Ohio State got out to an early 6-2 lead. 

But things took an unfortunate turn for the scarlet and gray shortly thereafter, as Key came down clutching his left shoulder after attempting to block an interior shot by Zach Edey. Key left his injured arm dangling straight down and went straight back to the locker room before four minutes passed in the opening period. 

Ohio State immediately subbed in Okpara to match up with Purdue’s stellar big man and Key was ruled out for the game with a shoulder sprain before the end of the first half.

That didn’t take any wind out of the Buckeyes’ sails, though. While the Boilermakers hit just three of their first 18 shots, Ohio State embarked on a 12-0 run from 15:19 to 11:52 to take a double-digit lead after an and-one by Sensabaugh in transition.

The Buckeye lead grew as large as 12 points in the first half before Purdue closed the gap in the final few minutes. In fact, the Boilermakers erased the OSU advantage completely by the 1:22 mark, when four consecutive 3-point makes tied the game 33-all.

Despite holding Edey to just four points and Purdue to just 38.2% shooting from the field, Ohio State only led three points at the intermission, 36-33. The Boilermakers outrebounded the Buckeyes 21-13, including 10-1 on the offensive glass, and scored 10 second-chance points to supplement their scoring after a tough start from the floor.

Second Half

69 POINTS 71
29-58 (50.0%) FGM-FGA (PCT.) 25-58 (43.1%)
6-14 (42.9%) 3PM-3PA (PCT.) 13-31 (41.9%)
5-7 (71.4%) FTM-FTA (PCT.) 8-10 (80.0%)

After struggling in the first half, Edey went straight to work with a smooth jump-hook on Okpara in the low post, and Purdue took a two-point lead after a Mason Gillis 3-pointer on the Boilermakers’ next possession. Three minutes into the period, Edey already scored more points in the second half than he did in the first.

The Buckeyes and Boilermakers traded shots for a few minutes thereafter, but Purdue got out in front with the help of a 10-0 run in which Ohio State misfired on six straight attempts. That stretch allowed Purdue to take a six-point lead, 52-46, with 13:10 to play.

But an Okpara block ignited the crowd on a subsequent Edey shot attempt, and Sensabaugh broke away for a one-handed transition dunk to make it a two-point game at the other end. Sensabaugh also hit the next two shots for Ohio State to tie things up again. The Buckeyes retook a five-point lead, 62-58, on back-to-back makes from Justice Sueing and Sean McNeil down to the 6:30 mark.

Things just kept going back and forth, though, as a Boilermaker 3-pointer put Purdue back ahead on the heels of a 5-0 spurt less than three minutes later. With 1:57 to play, Okpara hit a pair of free throw to tie it up once more.

Both teams went cold from the field down the stretch, but McNeil nailed a tough contest three with 40.3 seconds left to give Ohio State a late edge. But Sueing turned the ball over on the next Buckeye possession, leading to a Boilermaker 3-pointer.

With a chance to win the game on the final shot, Sensabaugh was forced into a bad shot that didn’t hit rim.

Game Notes

  • Bruce Thornton, Sean McNeil, Brice Sensabaugh, Justice Sueing and Zed Key was Ohio State’s starting lineup for the sixth straight game.
  • Each of the past four matchups between the Buckeyes and Boilermakers were decided by nine points or fewer. The most recent contest saw Jaden Ivey beat the Buckeyes with a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in last January’s OSU-Purdue game at Mackey Arena.
  • Purdue won its last game at the Schottenstein Center, 67-65, on Jan. 19, 2021.
  • Edey entered the night as the Big Ten’s leader in both points and rebounds per game, with averages of 21.7 and 13.4.
  • Chris Holtmann lost five of his first eight games against Purdue since his first season as head coach at Ohio State.
  • Thursday marked Ohio State’s 22nd game all-time against a team ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25. The Buckeyes entered 10-11 in those matchups and won eight of the past 11.
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