Purdue center Zach Edey took advantage of Ohio State’s depleted frontcourt, scoring a game-high 26 points while corraling 11 rebounds to lead the No. 3 Boilermakers past the Buckeyes 82-55 at Mackey Arena on Sunday.
The Buckeyes (11-16, 3-13 Big Ten) were without starting big man Zed Key, who was held out due to a nagging shoulder injury while starting center Felix Okpara was impacted by early foul trouble. Purdue (24-4, 13-4) utilized its size well, outrebounding the Buckeyes 44-21 while carving out a 40-20 scoring advantage in the paint.
Despite starting four freshmen and being without Key, Ohio State opened an early 8-2 lead — sparked by a pair of steals from Bruce Thronton on Purdue’s first two possessions. Although head coach Chris Holtmann opted to pressure the Boilermakers with a full-court trapping press early in the game, Purdue found its footing with a 12-2 run to pull ahead 14-10 with 14:29 remaining in the first half.
Guard Sean McNeil scored Ohio State’s next six points, pacing the Buckeyes alongside Purdue, while the Boilermakers carried a 20-16 lead with 10:27 left in the half. But the Boilermakers utilized an 11-4 run across the next 4:54 to increase their lead to 31-20, their largest of the half, with 5:33 to play in the frame.
Edey scored six of Purdue’s final seven points in the half, including an emphatic put-back dunk as time expired to lift the Boilermakers to a 38-29 advantage entering the break.
Several Buckeyes found themselves in foul trouble after the first half, as center Owen Spencer picked four fouls, Brice Sensabaugh had a trio, and Roddy Gayle Jr. and Okpara registered a pair during the opening half. The Boilermakers connected on 15 of 19 free throw attempts during the first half, compared to just a 3-of-4 mark from the Buckeyes.
Purdue continued to overwhelm the Buckeyes with its size to start the second half, as the Boilermakers quickly extended their lead to 47-33 while outrebounding the Buckeyes 6-1 across the first 4:13 of the frame.
Edey scored eight of Purdue’s next 10 points to increase the Boilermakers’ lead to 57-38 with 11:22 remaining. While Edey continued to roll, Ohio State’s offense floundered. After making their first two attempts of the half, the Buckeyes hit on just two of their next 11 shots.
Purdue’s lead ballooned to as much as 31 (76-45), while the Boilermakers outscored the Buckeyes 44-26 in the second half and coasted to the win. The loss to the Boilermakers marked Ohio State’s eighth-straight defeat and the 13th in their last 14 contests.
Ohio State shot a lowly 40.0 percent (22 of 55) as a team, but Sensabaugh led the Buckeyes with 20 points while McNeil finished with 10, marred by an 0 of 5 mark from beyond the arc.
Edey registered his 21st double-double this season, while guard Fletcher Loyer added 6 points and four assists. Trey Kaufmann-Renn was the only other Boilermaker to reach double-digit scoring, with 11 points. Purdue shot 50.0 percent (27 of 54) from the field, while also connecting on 21 of 27 free throw attempts, in the win.
Ohio State returns to Value City Arena to kick off a three-game homestand, starting with a contest against Penn State at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. The game will be televised on FS1.