COLUMBUS — No. 24 Ohio State was positioned well to hand top-ranked Purdue its second loss of the week while also gaining its first signature win of the season.
One Justice Sueing turnover later, Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer drilled the game-winning three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining, sending Ohio State to a brutal defeat as another prime opportunity slipped away.
Brice Sensabaugh continued his hot start to his freshman season, leading all scorers with 21 points, and Justice Sueing added 15 points to lead Ohio State.
Four Purdue scorers recorded double digits, led by 16-point efforts from both Braden Smith and Zach Edey. Loyer, the man of the evening for the Boilermakers, finished with 11 points, nine of which came from three.
After starting the game ice cold from three, Purdue put together one of its finest distance shooting displays of its season, finishing 7-16 from three in the second half. Of course, none were bigger than Purdue’s final attempt of the game.
Sensabaugh got the scoring started with a two-handed dunk off a backdoor cut on Ohio State’s opening possession, and his second field goal in the opening four minutes opened a 6-2 lead for Ohio State.
Offensive rebounds allowed Purdue to quickly cut into the deficit. Ethan Morton’s offensive rebound, Purdue’s fifth already in the first four minutes, led to a dunk by Edey that brought Purdue to within a point.
To make Ohio State’s inability to defend the glass even more problematic, Zed Key appeared to injure his shoulder attempting to block Edey’s dunk, and would not return after heading straight to the locker room following the play.
Ohio State’s lead ballooned to double digits as the first half neared the halfway mark. A block by Felix Okpara led to a transition bucket from Sensabaugh. He was fouled on the finish as well, and the three-point play gave Ohio State an 18-7 lead on the strength of a 12-0 run.
Jumpers by Tanner Holden and Sensabaugh gave Ohio State its largest lead of the half at 26-14, but Purdue caught fire from distance and closed the deficit late in the half. Three consecutive threes by David Jenkins Jr., Mason Gillis, and Smith erased a nine-point Ohio State lead and tied the game at 33-33 with 1:30 remaining.
Eugene Brown III ended Purdue’s scoring barrage with a three of his own to regain a 36-33 lead for Ohio State, and that lead would hold heading into the halftime break.
Sensabaugh led Ohio State with 13 first-half points, while Smith scored 12 to keep Purdue within striking distance.
A five-point spurt to begin the second half, including a three by Gillis, gave Purdue its first lead since the 15:42 mark of the first half.
Ohio State answered with a five-point spurt of its own to regain a 41-38 lead two minutes into the half, and the two teams traded punches for much of the second half as the lead never got above six for either team.
Ohio State opened up a 62-58 lead with 6:30 to play on jumpers from Sueing and Sean McNeil, but Purdue scored six of the game’s next seven points to take a 64-63 lead heading into the final media timeout of the game.
Out of the timeout, Sensabaugh once again delivered for Ohio State, hitting a tough midrange jumper through traffic to give his team the lead as the clock ticked under three minutes.
A pair of free throws from Edey gave the lead right back to Purdue, but he fouled Okpara on a dunk attempt on the ensuing possession, sending Okpara to the line. Okpara made one of two free throws to tie the game, setting up a wild finish over the final minute.
With 59 seconds on the clock and possession, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann elected to call a timeout to set up a play. Out of it, Ohio State was forced to settle for a three from McNeil, but McNeil delivered a potential dagger when he drilled the shot and sent the arena into a frenzy.
Ohio State had taken a 69-66 lead with 40 seconds remaining, but holding that lead would prove to be too much for them as Purdue stormed back to stun the raucous crowd inside the Schottenstein Center.
Down three, Purdue head coach Matt Painter elected to go for a quick two rather than a potential game-tying three, and the decision paid off. Edey connected on a jump hook to cut the Ohio State lead to 69-68 with 28 seconds remaining, and then disaster struck when Sueing’s inbound pass was stolen by Morton.
Now able to settle for the final shot, Loyer’s three proved to be the dagger as Ohio State struggled to even get a shot off out of a timeout to set up the final shot. Sensabaugh lost the ball, and after collecting it, he was forced to turn around and heave a long three attempt that fell well short of the rim.