Purdue guard Fletcher Loyer drilled a go-ahead three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining, lifting the No. 1 Boilermakers to a 71-69 win over No. 24 Ohio State at Value City Arena on Thursday.
Freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh’s game-winning three-point attempt came after the buzzer, as the Purdue defense suffocated Ohio State’s offense on its final possession, securing the win for the Boilermakers (14-1, 3-1 Big Ten). Purdue scored the final five points across the last 28.3 seconds to snatch the victory from the hands of the Buckeyes.
Ohio State got off to a quick start thanks to a pair of buckets in the lane from Sensabaugh, giving the Buckeyes a 6-2 lead with 16:41 to play in the first half. However, Ohio State (10-4, 2-1 Big Ten) lost Zed Key soon after, as the Buckeye big man went down with a shoulder sprain with 16:13 remaining in the frame and did not return, leaving OSU without its primary defender on Purdue 7-4 center Zach Edey.
Despite Key’s injury, and Purdue jumping ahead 7-6, the Buckeyes ripped off a 12-0 run to pull back in front 18-7 with 11:52 to go in the frame. Sensabaugh and forward Justice Sueing combined for nine points during the stretch.
Purdue cut the deficit to 20-14, but Ohio State countered with a 6-0 run over the span of 1:26 to pull back ahead by double digits with 6:55 to play in the half. However, Purdue controlled the half from there, outscoring the Buckeyes 19-10 to close the frame — highlighted by a 9-0 run, which was punctuated by a steal and three-pointer by guard Braden Smith.
Ohio State shot a blistering 55.6 percent from the field during the first half while holding the Boilermakers to a 38.2 percent mark. However, Purdue’s 10 offensive rebounds sparked 10 second-chance points for the Boilermakers. Ohio State carried a 36-33 advantage into the locker room.
After scoring just four first-half points, Edey found his footing during the second frame. He scored six of Purdue’s first nine points to start the second half, but the Buckeyes held a 46-42 lead with 16:41 to play in the stanza. However, Purdue took off on a 10-0 run to wrestle control of the game, pulling ahead 52-46 with 13:10 to play.
Sensabaugh and guard Roddy Gayle Jr. got the Ohio State offense back on track, though, combining to score the Buckeyes’ next 10 points and cut the deficit to one, 57-56, with 9:32 remaining in regulation.
With 6:57 remaining, center Felix Okpara lifted the Buckeyes back in front with a floater off an assist by Sensabaugh. Okpara’s bucket sparked a 6-0 run by Ohio State, pushing OSU ahead 62-58, but a pair of threes from Ethan Morton and Loyer pushed Purdue back up 64-63 entering the under-4 timeout
Sensabaugh drilled a jumper to put the Buckeyes back in front, but Edey countered by drilling a pair of free throws — giving the Boilermakers a 66-65 advantage with 2:58 left in regulation. After drawing a foul on Edey, Okpara went one for two from the charity stripe, knotting the game up at 66.
Ohio State guard Sean McNeil drilled the go-ahead three from the top of the key with 40 seconds to play, pushing the Buckeyes ahead 69-66. However, Edey countered with a hook shot over Okpara to close the gap to one with 28.3 seconds left in regulation.
After the ensuing inbounds pass, Morton registered a steal — by intercepting a pass from Sueing — and Purdue head coach Matt Painter called a timeout with 17 seconds to play, giving the Boilermakers a chance at the final shot down 69-68. Loyer drilled the go-ahead three-pointer from the top of the key, assisted by Edey, to give the Boilermakers the victory.
Although Purdue entered the game shooting just 30.5 percent from beyond the arc, the Boilermakers tallied a 41.9 percent mark from three against the Buckeyes.
Sensabaugh led all scorers with 21 points on 10-of-17 shooting while Sueing added 15 points — with eight coming in the second half — alongside four rebounds and two assists. Freshman guard Bruce Thornton added eight points and three assists.
Although Key was out for much of the game, Edey was largely held in check by Okpara. The Boilermaker big man finished the evening with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting while adding 11 rebounds and four assists. Edey led Purdue’s 37-27 advantage on the glass, accounting for four of its 16 offensive rebounds.
Smith led the Boilermakers with 16 points behind 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Loyer added 11 points and also tallied a trio of threes, including the game-winner.
Ohio State hits the road for its next contest, trekking to College Park, Md., to take on the Maryland Terrapins. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.