The Cleveland Fan on Facebook

The Cleveland Fan on Twitter
Buckeyes Buckeye Archive Thomas, Craft Pace Buckeyes in Victory over Boilermakers
Written by David Regimbal

David Regimbal

Just three days removed from their worst loss in years, the Ohio State Buckeyes had a chance to redeem themselves Tuesday night.

On the road in front of a packed crowd inside Mackey Arena, the Buckeyes earned that redemption by beating the Purdue Boilermakers 74-64.

Ohio State (12-3) shot a blistering 56 percent from the field against Purdue (7-8) just three days removed from its 33 percent outing in a 19-point loss to Illinois. Only two of the eight Buckeyes who saw the court shot under 50 percent Tuesday night, and four players shot over 60 percent in Ohio State’s first true road victory of the year.

Deshaun Thomas, who scored a game-high 22 points, talked about Ohio State’s offense after the game, "We came out with toughness and our offensive execution was going well. We knew we needed to do that after the Illinois game and that's what we did. We came out with toughness and executed really well."

Against Illinois, the Buckeyes settled for too many long jumpers early in the shot clock. Against Purdue, the Buckeyes attacked the rim and scored nearly half their points (34) in the paint. That led to more makeable shots on the perimeter, especially for Thomas, who connected on four of his seven 3-pointers.

Despite some early foul trouble, Aaron Craft was phenomenal, scoring 15 points on six of seven shooting. Craft was aggressive, scoring four of his six buckets in the paint as he attacked the basket all night. Evan Ravenel was solid off the bench scoring 11 points, as was La’Quinton Ross, who chipped in six. Sam Thompson, to no one’s surprise, threw down a highlight-reel dunk as he posterized Purdue’s seven-foot freshman center, A.J. Hammons, in the first half. He went on to finish with eight points.

The Buckeyes certainly needed the offense. Purdue pushed Ohio State hard in the second half, especially late when a 10-2 Boilermakers run made it a 70-64 game with about two and a half minutes to go. But every time Purdue threatened, the Buckeyes answered with a timely bucket. Whether it was a rare jumper from Thompson or a drive to the basket from Craft, Ohio State was determined to bounce back from its loss to Illinois.

Ohio State coach Thad matta knew that despite Purdue’s record, they were going to give his Buckeyes a fight, “This was not the type of game you want to play with Purdue’s tenacity and trying, in two days, to get our guys to understand what was coming down the pipe.”

Both teams got off to a fast start, connecting on four of their first seven shots from the field. Thomas fueled the Buckeyes early as it became clear that Ohio State was playing angry after its loss to the Illini. The Buckeyes created a little separation with an 8-0 run, and Purdue battle back for a bit before completely collapsing to close the half. The Boilermakers missed 12 of their last 15 shots before the break and Ohio State was used that to create a 39-29 lead going into the locker room at halftime.

The second half played out much like the first. Purdue would consistently make a push, but the Buckeyes had an answer for every surge. It was a much-needed win and a huge boost in confidence for an Ohio State team preparing for its biggest game of the year.

On Sunday, the second ranked and unbeaten Michigan Wolverines come to Columbus.


The TCF Forums