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Ohio State stumbles, loses at home to Purdue 79-67

The Buckeyes extend their losing streak to five games.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The gloom continues to loom in Columbus, as the Ohio State Buckeyes (12-6, 2-5) fell to the Purdue Boilermakers (13-6, 6-2), 79-67. A big first half run by the Boilermakers paced the visitors to the lead, and they didn’t look back. The loss pushes OSU’s losing streak to five games—all against Big Ten opponents.

Kaleb Wesson was held in check on Wednesday night, scoring only six points before fouling out in the second half. Wesson saw 16 minutes of action on the floor, but snagged only three defensive rebounds.

His brother, Andre, had a better night against the Boilermakers. Andre scored a team-high 22 points, and went 4-of-5 from three-point range.

Luther Muhammad and Musa Jallow joined Andre Wesson as double-digit scorers on the night. Jallow poured in 12 points, and led the team in rebounds (6) and steals (5). Muhammad put together a 10-point night on 3-of-6 shooting. Additionally, he had a pair of rebounds and steals.

Purdue’s Carsen Edwards was too much for the Buckeyes to handle. Edwards dropped 27 points, scoring 11 of them from the free throw line. Ryan Cline had the second most points for the Boilermakers, scoring 13.

Both teams had trouble with possessions. Purdue turned the ball over 18 times, while Ohio State had 19. However, OSU had a 25-18 advantage in points-off-turnovers.

Let’s take a look at how this one went down.

After Carsen Edwards won the opening tip, Luther Muhammad snatched the ball away. Though Duane Washington missed the opening shot (a three-pointer), he got the rebound and dished the ball to Kaleb Wesson, who scored the opening points of the game off a layup. Connected shots from Muhammad and Andre Wesson paced the Buckeyes off to a 6-0 lead before Purdue forward Andre Wheeler swished a corner three. At the first media timeout, OSU had a 6-3 lead—and looked in better form than in the previous four games.

The Boilermakers were collectively 1-for-8 to begin the game. But, that wasn’t their biggest problem in the early going. As C.J. Jackson made a three-pointer to push Ohio State to a 15-6 lead, the Boilermakers had issues holding onto the ball. Edwards lost the ball after he slipped, leading to his second turnover by the under-12 media break. Purdue had six turnovers in the first eight minutes of action, which translated into nine OSU points; on the other side, the Buckeyes’ four turnovers led to a whopping zero points.

Out of the timeout, things tilted to the Purdue side. An 8-0 run in 55 seconds brought the visitors within one, 17-16. The run was attributed to a pair of three pointers—mixed with a pair of Buckeye turnovers. Not only would OSU have four-straight possessions that ended in turnovers, but Kaleb Wesson picked up his first foul of the game. Unlike the last games, Wesson’s first foul on Wednesday night happened later in the half. This time, it was with 8:51 remaining.

Justin Ahrens made a spectacular save to keep the arrow in favor of Ohio State. However, on the ensuing possession, he tossed the ball right to Edwards after he jumped the passing lane. Edwards went down the other end of the floor for a game-tying layup. Kaleb Wesson’s rebuttal shot fell short, leading to Purdue going back on offense; this time, Edwards dished to Matt Haarms for the bucket. Purdue had their first lead of the game, 20-18, with 7:25 left before the break. All this thanks to a 12-1 Boilermaker run and a Buckeye shooting slump that last over four minutes.

Purdue kept up the run, eventually making it 20-1 over 2:32. Matters became worse for OSU when Kaleb Wesson picked up his second foul of the half and was sent to the bench. After the run reached 22-1, Washington hit a layup to break things up. The Buckeyes would show signs of life by making a few more inside shots, but trailed 33-24 with 2:56 on the clock.

With less than two minutes left, Wesson picked up his third foul as Edwards drove into the lane for a layup. Chris Holtmann argued his case that Wesson went straight up, and in the process, picked up a technical foul. Edwards made his free throws and increased the lead to 39-24. With Kaleb on the bench for the rest of the half, the Buckeyes held their own. Musa Jallow recorded a steal and basket, and Andre Wesson heaved a shot from halfcourt at the buzzer to bring the Buckeyes within 10, 39-29.

In the second half, Ohio State shot themselves back into the game—and kept the score within 10 in the early going. Even though Purdue had the lead at the under-12 media timeout, OSU went on a streak of six made shots. Andre Wesson hit two threes, and Muhammad had one of his own, as the Buckeyes began the half 7-of-9 from the field.

A 10-1 run brought the Scarlet and Gray within four, 54-50, as Kaleb Wesson was on the bench with four fouls. The run came to an abrupt end off a Purdue timeout, as Cline connected on a layup. Edwards then jumped another passing lane—swiping the ball from Jallow—and was fouled on the ensuing fast break dunk. With 11:30 remaining in regulation, Purdue clung to a 56-50 lead.

Three-pointers were then traded by Jallow and Edwards, but a pair of Keyshawn Woods free throws brought the Buckeyes within three. However, Purdue went back up six as Nojel Eastern hit a jumper and made his and-1 free throw.

Ohio State had a prime opportunity to get the game back to one score, as a pass intended for Eastern bounced off his chest and back to the other side of the court—eventually rolling out of bounds. Unfortunately, Grady Eifert picked the ball from Ahrens down low in the paint. Edwards would turn the ball over on the next Purdue possession, and that’d be how OSU got within one score; Jallow made a three on the break, bringing the score to 64-61.

Purdue took a timeout, and regrouped. The play they ran off the timeout went to Eifert, who then uncorked (and connected) a three from downtown. The unraveling came full circle as Eifert and Kaleb Wesson wrestled for the ball on the ground. As the ball was knocked out of bounds (last touched by Wesson), a foul was called on Kaleb. That would be his fifth foul, ending his game; Kaleb had six points in 16 minutes of action.

Purdue would pull away to a double-digit lead, and drained the clock away in the final minute.

The all-time series between the two is now 90-87 in favor of the Buckeyes. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Ohio State holds a winning record in the series—and is the only Big Ten program to have a winning record against Purdue.

Up next for Ohio State is Nebraska. The Buckeyes will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska for a noontime ET tip-off on Saturday, Jan. 26.