The Drum Beat
By Shawn Martin
On an afternoon where at times the 6th ranked Purdue Boilermakers looked like a well-oiled machine, they survived an epic comeback by Ohio State to win 81-78 on a Jaden Ivey three-point shot at the buzzer.
Purdue led 52-32 when Ivey scored on a layup with 14:39 left in the game to complete an impressive 13-2 run to begin the second half.
The Buckeyes then outscored their hosts 46-26 and tied the game at 78 on an E.J. Liddell three with 26 seconds left in regulation.
Purdue (18-3/7-3 in B1G) got the ball to half court and called time out. The play that was set up in the timeout was not executed – Ivey’s fault for cutting the wrong way according to Ivey – then Eric Hunter Jr. found him on the wing where he hit nothing but net with 3 seconds remaining.
Purdue struggled at the free throw line all game, going a chilly 15-26 (57.7%). They also went cold from the field during the last 12 minutes of the game.
Purdue was up 78-75 after a Liddell three with 35 seconds left, followed quickly by a Buckeye timeout. On the ensuing inbounds, Purdue had to call timeout too because they couldn’t get it in against the Buckeye defense. When they did inbound it, they got it to half court, called the timeout, and set up the final seconds before Ivey’s heroics.
Both teams began the game in typical B1G fashion – physical basketball – which made scoring a problem. At the first media timeout, Ohio State (13-5/6-3) led 8-6 with almost 6 minutes of game clock elapsed.
Purdue took the lead on an Ethan Morton three-point basket – his only shot and only points – with 13:16 left on the first half clock. Ivey followed with a jumper, and after Buckeye freshman Malaki Branham tied the score at 11 with a three, Ivey almost immediately answered with a three of his own.
Things were heating up!
Ivey scored on an old-fashioned three-point play with 10:19 left and the Boilers led 17-11.
It was then time for senior Sacha Stefanovic to shine.
At 4:46 he hit a three from the right wing and was fouled on the play. He made the charity toss for a rare four-point play. Stefanovich was fouled on a shot soon after and made both freebies. Ohio State’s Kyle Young made a layup, and a minute later Stefanovic answered with a layup of his own. Eight points in a minute and a half for Stefanovic.
The Boilers took their largest first half lead – eleven 34-23 – on an Ivey jumper with 2:42 left in the half. Purdue would lead 39-30 at halftime.
The Boilermakers old bugaboos showed up again in this game.
Free throw shooting really prevented Purdue from extending and maintaining the leads that they generated with good play in each half. Boilers shot 5-9 in the first half – Zach Edey was 1-4 in the half. Edey did look more comfortable at the line in the second half and finished 6-11. Trevion Williams was 1-5 from the line for the game.
Purdue Head Coach Matt Painter has lamented all season about this not being a typical Purdue defensive basketball team. Especially during the last 14 minutes of the game, the Buckeyes got open three’s and were able to breakdown the defense off the dribble. Ohio State coughed up the ball only six times in the game – one of those was on their first possession of the when their guard dribbled the ball off his leg out of bounds.
As with several games this season, Purdue has stretches where they are spectacular and play to the promise they have. They also have a tendency to not have that killer instinct and don’t keep the foot on the pedal. They get a lead and put it on cruise control.
That could be dangerous come later this season.
Ivey didn’t start for the second game in a row after a hip flexor caused him to miss the Northwestern game last Sunday. He showed no signs of being limited. Coach Painter said it is just a normal process to ease a player back after missing time with an injury.
Ivey certainly was a sparkplug today off the bench leading Purdue with 21 points, none more important than his final three. Edey was a big problem for the Buckeyes. He constantly drew fouls on a good number of sacrificial lambs that Buckeye coach Chris Holtman sent in to try and keep Edey away from the basket. The 7-4 Canadian drew 10 fouls on Buckeye defenders. He finished with 20 points. Stefanovic had 11, and Eric Hunter Jr continued his improved offensive output of late with 10. Williams had 9. Mason Gillis and Isaiah Thompson were very steady, and each contributed big plays. It was good to see Freshman Caleb Furst back to what looked like full strength.
In fact, Mason Gillis corralled a career-high 11 rebounds to go with 7 points and 2 assists. Five of his rebounds were on the offensive end.
Liddell, a 6-7 junior, had 20 points to lead the Buckeyes. Branham added 20 for Ohio State.
Purdue is at the Barn in Minnesota on Wednesday night before returning home to host Michigan next Saturday afternoon.
Additional information provided by Purdue Sports
- No. 6 Purdue improved to 18-3 overall and 7-3 in the Big Ten with an 81-78 win over No. 16 Ohio State on Sunday afternoon. The win was Purdue’s third in a row. At the halfway point in league play, Purdue is now one game back of the league leaders (Wisconsin and Illinois).
- Purdue is 18-3 or better for just the third time under Matt Painter and for the second time in five years.
- Purdue has won seven of the last 10 games against Ohio State.
- Jaden Ivey hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to lift Purdue to the victory. In a 67-65 win last year over Ohio State, Ivey hit a 3-pointer with just over 4 seconds left to give Purdue a 3-point lead against the Buckeyes.
- Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Purdue is now 28-25 against ranked teams. The 28 wins are the fifth most in the country.
- Since the start of the 2014-15 season, Purdue is 20-7 against ranked opponents at Mackey Arena.
- Purdue improved to 137-16 since the start of 2014-15 season when attempting more free throws than its opponents. Purdue took 12 more attempts from the line (26-14).
- Purdue is 266-50 under Painter when scoring at least 70 points, and 142-12 under Painter when scoring at least 80 points, including 56-2 since the start of the 2017-18 season.
- Over the last five games, Purdue is 49-of-109 (.450) from 3-point range.
- Purdue’s sophomore class scored 51 of Purdue’s 81 points.
- Jaden Ivey has scored at least 21 points in two of his last three performances. Over his last three games, he is 8-of-16 from 3-point range.
- Zach Edey tallied 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting for his 8th 20-point game of the season.
- Mason Gillis corralled a career-high 11 rebounds to go with 7 points and 2 assists. Five of his rebounds were on the offensive end.
- Eric Hunter Jr., continued his outstanding play with 10 points and five assists. Over the last six games, Hunter Jr., is 6-of-7 from long distance. In games he leads Purdue in assists, the Boilermakers are 20-5.
- Sasha Stefanovic tallied 11 points, all in the first half. When he scores in double figures in his career, Purdue is 30-5.