Ohio State’s surprise run in the Big Ten Tournament ran out of steam in its fourth game in as many days.
The 13th-seeded Buckeyes became the lowest seed to ever reach the semifinal round after winning their first three games, but they couldn’t topple top-seeded Purdue to punch a ticket to the conference title game. The Boilermakers earned their third victory of the season over Ohio State with an 80-66 win at the United Center in Chicago.
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Ohio State got off to a hot start as Roddy Gayle continued his breakout run in the Big Ten Tournament, but Zach Edey changed the complexion of the game in the final eight minutes of the first half. The Purdue big man scored 13 out of 21 Boilermakers points in that stretch to take his team from down eight to up eight by the intermission.
Without Brice Sensabaugh (knee) for the second straight game, Ohio State struggled to keep up with Purdue offensively in the second half. On defense, several Buckeyes got into foul trouble trying to stop Edey, who finished with a 32-point afternoon. The Buckeyes made it a six-point game in the final five minutes, but Edey and company kept them at bay to earn a spot in the Big Ten Tournament championship game.
Gayle poured in a career-high 20 points in another stellar performance, and Bruce Thornton came alive late to help the Buckeyes make a push. But Ohio State didn’t have enough in the tank to spring another postseason upset in Chicago.
The loss ended Ohio State’s hopes of making the NCAA Tournament. Barring an NIT selection, the Buckeyes will end the season with a 16-19 record.
Two-and-a-half minutes in, Purdue had already built a six-point lead. But Roddy Gayle picked up right where he left off in Friday’s quarterfinal matchup, hitting three 3-pointers in the first eight minutes to score 10 of the first 19 points for Ohio State.
Gayle’s third three tied the game up, 19-all, at the 12:39 mark, and after drawing a charge on the other end, Isaac Likekele fought through a foul to score and layup and five the Buckeyes their first lead of the game. By the time Gayle knocked down his fourth straight 3-pointer, Ohio State took a seven-point lead on the back of a 10-0 run.
Purdue didn’t hit a field goal for more than five minutes of game time as the Buckeyes went up 29-21 with another 3-point make at the 8:18 mark. But then Zach Edey got going.
The Big Ten Player of the Year scored six straight points for the Boilermakers in one stretch and drew several fouls on the Buckeyes, who were forced to throw Euegene Brown and Isaac Likekele at the 7-foot-4 force defensively after Felix Okpara picked up his second. Edey led Purdue on a 12-2 run to give the Boilermakers a two-point lead with 3:37 to go.
Gayle broke up an 8-0 Boilermaker stretch with yet another three, but Purdue responded with a 9-0 run to close the half with an eight-point lead over Ohio State. Edey scored 17 points in the first 20 minutes as the Boilermakers outscored the Buckeyes 17-3 in the final 6:29 of the period.
Despite hitting seven of their 11 3-point attempts in the first half and winning the rebounding battle, Ohio State turned the ball over five times in the final 6:48 and didn’t score at all in the last 3:13. Gayle scored a career-high 16 points in just one half of play after knocking down five of his six 3-pointers, but no other Buckeye had more than six points.
|22-52 (42%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||28-58 (48%)|
|10-24 (42%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||7-15 (47%)|
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On the first possession of the second half, Edey kept his momentum rolling with another bucket that gave the Boilermakers their first double-digit lead of the game. By the 12:54 mark, the wheels appeared to be falling off the Buckeyes, who gave up an Edey dunk that put Purdue up 15 points.
At the second media timeout of the period, Ohio State had only hit four of its 12 shot attempts, missed four of its five 3-pointers and committed five fouls.
With Edey off the court, the Buckeyes cut the deficit to 11 points at the 9:51 mark. But after Sueing knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a single-digit game once again, the big man returned for the Boilermakers.
Ohio State pieced together a 7-0 run to come within seven points of Purdue with 7:44 to go. On the very next possession, though, Edey answered with a jump hook in the lane. Edey drew a foul just 1:03 later, knocked down both free throws and gave the Boilermakers another comfortable 11-point edge.
Thornton scored six straight points for Ohio State in one stretch to help make it a 61-55 game on the heels of a 12-4 run. But every Buckeye surge was met with an answer from the Boilermakers, who found themselves back up 10 while the clock ticked under four minutes at the United Center.
Purdue’s Brandon Newman sealed the deal with a corner three that put the Boilermakers up 13 at the 2:58 mark.
- Ohio State announced before the game that Brice Sensabaugh will not play again this season after suffering a knee injury in the second round against Iowa. Sensabaugh also missed Friday’s Michigan State game, which was his first absence of the season.
- Sean McNeil replaced Sensabaugh in the starting lineup for the second straight game alongside Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, Justice Sueing and Felix Okpara.
- Ohio State started its Big Ten Tournament run with a win over 12th-seed Wisconsin on Wednesday, then wins over fifth-seed Iowa and fourth-seed Michigan State on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
- Purdue had a double-bye in the tournament as the No. 1 seed, and beat Rutgers in its first matchup in Chicago on Friday.
- The Boilermakers beat the Buckeyes in both regular-season matchups. Purdue won 71-69 in Columbus on Jan. 5 and defeated the Buckeyes by 27 in the rematch in West Lafayette on Feb. 19.