Down goes Purdue, finally, in the final seconds
As Matt Painter said shortly after his lost its biggest game of the year to this point — No. 3 Purdue fell 64-63 to 14th-ranked Ohio State — this was bound to catch up with his Boilermakers.
Offensive rebounds, that is, a season-long concern for Purdue, and one that came to a head at the worst possible time Wednesday night.
Keita Bates-Diop won it with a tip-in with 2.8 seconds left to play, after the long, wandering offensive rebound moments prior escaped Purdue hands and kept possession with the Buckeyes.
After Isaac Haas’ fallaway jumper at the buzzer hit back iron, Purdue had squandered the entirety of a 14-point lead with 10 minutes to play, saw its 19-game win streak snapped and surrendered sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
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Carsen Edwards scored a career-high 28 points for Purdue, and played a starring role in the second half shooting deluge that put the Boilermakers up by more than a dozen.
But after the lead peaked at 14, Edwards missed everything with a three, followed by back-to-back-to-back Boilermaker turnovers, the last of them a charge on Vincent Edwards. After the series of squandered opportunities, Ohio State had cut the lead in half, positioning it to win the game, largely off second chances and various improbabilities.
With 1:10 left to play, Ohio State took its first lead of the game when forward Andre Wesson — a 9-of-36 three-point shooter prior to tonight — banked in a triple from the left wing. It was his third of the night on five tries.
Additionally, freshman Musa Jallow, the Bloomington native who skipped over a year of high school to enroll in Columbus this summer, made three threes on four tries. He was 8-of-35 prior to facing Purdue, 0-for-6 in Big Ten play.
Ohio State made plays to win, for certain, but Purdue left Keady Court with much to lament.
It turned the ball over 12 times, leading to 10 Buckeye points. The numbers there weren’t exorbitant, but their impact mattered.
Purdue held Ohio State to 0-for-7 shooting to start the game and zero points over the first six minutes or so of the game, then handed the Buckeyes a pair of breakaway baskets off turnovers.
“When they were struggling to score,” Painter said, “we helped them.”
And then, the dry spell up 14 helped set up Purdue’s other albatross — the offensive glass.
“The same things that got us beat in the Bahamas,” Haas said, “got us beat tonight.”
Over 40 minutes Wednesday, that may not be necessarily true, because Ohio State finished with just six offensive boards; over the final 30 seconds, it absolutely was, as Andrew Dakich corralled the loose ball that might have sealed it for Purdue — Carsen Edwards and Dakota Mathias were both in the vicinity of the loose ball; had one grabbed it, they’d probably have been sent to the foul line — then Bates-Diop won it by tipping in Jae’Sean Tate’s miss, another ball Purdue had chances to grab.
Purdue scored 10 points in the game's final 10 minutes.
Ohio State is one of the Big Ten's finest defensive teams, such a lack of productivity has been foreign to this normally potent Purdue team, which posted a season-low point total in a game of profound important, a game in which only four Boilermakers scored.
It was a strange night for Purdue, by its standards. Vincent Edwards scored 11 points and scored a key go-ahead and-one in the final minute, but he missed a slew of shots at the basket that are normally high-percentage for him. He was 3-of-12. P.J. Thompson missed all five of the threes he attempted and Dakota Mathias committed an unheard-of (by his standards) five turnovers.
Haas scored 18 on 7-of-11 shooting and pinned every big man he faced to the bench with foul trouble, though that might have worked against Purdue, because Ohio State's small lineups — Andre Wesson often was in for his larger brother, Kaleb, at the 5, and made at least one three over Haas — spurred the Buckeyes' comeback, and helped quiet Purdue offensively.
"It's hard to run offense when you can't pass and catch," Painter said of his team's offensive struggles.
He then credited Ohio State for using its length and tenacity to tip passes.
As for the bobbled balls and mishandled passes that led to turnovers, he said, "I'd attribute that to concentration."
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