Though the first half against Purdue was hardly Thad Matta's basketball Bucks' finest hour, some strong shooting coupled with resolve amounted to the country's #3 ranked team managing to keep up with a Boilermakers side who seemed more into it in the early goings.
In a tightly called contest between the two sides, Purdue came out quick, largely behind the energy of an impressively electric (given both the holiday and the fact that school is on winter break) home crowd. Aaron Craft was the straw that stirred the drink for Ohio State, however, seeming to know where his teammates would before they even did. Craft picked up 6 assists less than 2/3 through the half.
The Buckeyes will need more of what they got on the offensive end from LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr. in order to hold off this upstart Purdue side. Something (anything) from the likes of Sam Thompson and the bench would also help their cause.
Aaron Craft: 4 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Lenzelle Smith Jr: 10 points, 2 assists
LaQuinton Ross: 6 points, 6 rebounds
Ronnie Johnson: 9 points, 2 assists
A.J. Hammons: 9 points, 9 rebounds