COLUMBUS — A first-half barrage of three-pointers wasn’t enough for No. 15 Ohio State as Jaden Ivey’s three-pointer with five seconds remaining propelled the Purdue Boilermakers to a 67-65 win over the Buckeyes on Tuesday evening in Value City Arena.
Duane Washington Jr. led the way for the Buckeyes in a losing effort, scoring a team-high 21 points on 6-for-9 shooting from three, and Justin Ahrens added 11 points.
Ivey’s 15 points, combined with 16 points from Trevion Williams and 15 from Sasha Stefanovic, lifted the Boilermakers to the upset victory and the season sweep of Ohio State.
Purdue jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on a pair of layups from forward Trevion Williams, but Ohio State answered right back with a pair of three-point plays to take its first lead of the game at 6-4 less than two minutes into the half.
It became apparent very early that Ohio State would be heavily reliant on its three-point shooting as it continued to hoist attempts rather than attack Purdue’s size in the post. Three-pointers from Washington Jr. and Justice Sueing had the Buckeyes out to a 12-7 lead, and Ahrens’ first make of the game gave his team a seven-point lead at the 14-minute mark of the first half.
Unable to match the hot distance shooting from Ohio State, Purdue relied on a significant size advantage in the post to keep the Boilermakers in the game early. Zach Edey’s layup cut the Ohio State lead to five at 15-10, and two minutes later, Edey’s jumper gave Purdue the lead at 17-16 with 10:22 remaining in the opening half.
The two teams traded baskets and the lead as the clock moved toward the seven-minute mark before Ohio State finally got its first basket from inside the three-point line. Kyle Young’s drive and lay-in put the Buckeyes back in front by two, and from there they would begin to build on their lead.
A jumper from Washington Jr. and Ahrens’ second three-pointer of the game had Ohio State in front by five points, and a pair of threes from Washington Jr. on back-to-back possessions had the Buckeyes up by 11 with just over five minutes remaining in the half.
Despite the large deficit, Purdue was able to capitalize on a scoring drought from Ohio State over the final few minutes, cutting the Buckeye lead to six at 37-31 as the two teams headed to the locker room.
Ohio State finished the first half shooting 38 percent from the field despite attempting 22 threes, seemingly playing directly into the hands of Purdue head coach Matt Painter’s gameplan for defending the Buckeyes. However, Purdue’s dreadful 2-12 performance from the three-point line did the Boilermakers no favors.
The lead hovered around seven points for Ohio State throughout the opening minutes of the second half before Purdue began to make its charge. A three-point play from Stefanovic cut the Buckeye lead to 43-39, and Edey’s dunk a few possession later once again brought the Boilermakers within four as the game approached the midway point of the second half.
A pair of free throws from Stefanovic got Purdue back to within a single possession for the first time since the early stages of the first half. Following a three-point spurt from Trevion Williams, it was Stefanovic once again, this time on a mid-range jumper to draw the Boilermakers even with Ohio State as the clock ticked under seven minutes to play.
Williams’ transition three off a Washington Jr. turnover momentarily pushed Purdue ahead on the next possession, but Ohio State got a big answer from Seth Towns to recapture a lead at 53-52 as the game hit the six-minute mark.
Liddell’s jumper and a three-pointer from Washington Jr. had Ohio State poised to finish off Purdue as the Buckeyes took a 60-54 lead with 3:35 to play, but like they did all throughout the second half, the Boilermakers punched back.
Ivey’s three-pointer cut Ohio State’s lead to three just a possession later, and it was Ivey again with a jumper to get the Boilermakers within a point at 60-59 with 2:38 to play.
Ahrens’ three gave Ohio State some breathing room with two minutes to play, but it was short-lived as Williams’ jumper set the stage for a thrilling ending.
Following an Ohio State turnover, Purdue took over possession and called a timeout as the clock ticked below a minute. Out of the timeout, Stefanovic was able to get loose for a wide-open three attempt, which he drilled to tie the score at 64-all.
Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann elected to call his own timeout following the make by Stefanovic, but the Buckeyes would not have the same luck out of the stoppage. Ahrens’ three-point attempt was tipped by a Purdue defender, and following the defensive rebound, the Boilermakers were poised to steal a win in Columbus.
With the shot clock turned off, Purdue surprisingly turned to Ivey, who entered the game shooting just 18 percent from three, to send the Boilermakers home happy. As the clock ticked below 10 seconds, the freshman guard rose and fired with confidence, drilling the shot and sending the Purdue bench into a frenzy.
Down three with just five seconds remaining, Ohio State’s last ditch-effort was denied as Purdue elected to foul, sending the Buckeyes to the line rather than letting them get a game-tying attempt off.
Following the game, Holtmann said of his team’s performance, “It was a hard-fought Big Ten game. We have to figure out how to get better and move forward. This one obviously stings, but we have to move forward.”
Asked about his team’s vast number of three-point attempts, Holtmann said it was “a few too many,” although he said many of them were good looks.
With the loss, Ohio State falls to 11-4 on the season and 5-4 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes will return to the floor on Saturday when they travel to take on the No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.