Cold shooting and an abundance of turnovers doomed Ohio State to a first-half dry spell it never recovered from despite a valiant, falling to Purdue 79-67 at Value City Arena on Wednesday for the Buckeyes fifth straight defeat.
Purdue (13-6, 6-2) led 39-29 at the half and were up 51-37 before the Buckeyes mounted a comeback to pull to within 54-50 on a 3-pointer by freshman Justin Ahrens with 12:29 to play. The rally was done without the help of sophomore center Kaleb Wesson, who was on the bench with his fourth foul.
Three-pointers by Andre Wesson and Musa Jallow pulled OSU to within 58-56 before Carsen Edwards made a 3-pointer for the Boilermakers. The Buckeyes never got closer than four the rest of the way.
Wesson had a career-high 22 points for Ohio State (12-6, 2-5), making his first nine shots before missing his last attempt. Musa Jallow added points 12 points and Luther Muhammad 10.
Edwards, fourth nationally at 24.6 points per game, had 27 points and Ryan Cline added 14.
The damage was done early to the Buckeyes.
OSU led 17-8 before the Boilermakers went on a 22-1 run for a 30-18 advantage that stretched to as many as 15 before Andre Wesson brought a roar from the crowd with a banked shot from just beyond midcourt at the buzzer to make it 39-29 at the half.
The opening 20 minutes were frustrating on many fronts for the Buckeyes, who committed turnovers on five straight possessions to allow the Boilermakers to go on their epic run and win their fourth straight and seventh in eight games.
Purdue scored 14 straight to go up by 12 before Duane Washington Jr. finally stopped the Purdue streak with a layup to make it 30-20.
Purdue reached its biggest first-half lead, 39-24, with 1:42 left when Carsen Edwards made four free throws, the last two when Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was called for a technical after the third foul on Wesson.
Wesson picked up his fourth, second on the offensive end, at 16:45 of the second half with the Buckeyes trailing 48-34.
He returned with 5:34 left and OSU down 67-63 and fouled out 51 seconds later.
His absence was felt even more because Ohio State played its first game without sophomore forward Kyle Young, who sustained a stress fracture in his right leg that was diagnosed after the Maryland game on Friday. He started 12 of 17 games, averaging 7.3 points and 4.8 points, while often having to spell Kale Wesson when he got into foul trouble.
The Buckeyes return to the road for games Saturday at Nebraska and Tuesday against No. 5 Michigan.