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Edey proves why he’s the National Player of the Year as Purdue runs over Ohio State, 82-55

It’s getting harder and harder to find a fourth Big Ten win on the schedule for Ohio State.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Ohio State (11-15, 3-12) and Purdue (23-4, 12-4) met, things were quite a bit different. The Buckeyes were 2-0 in Big Ten play back on January 5, having beaten Rutgers and Northwestern, and were looking like one of the best teams in the B1G in doing so. Ohio State had a three-point lead over the Boilermakers that afternoon with 30 seconds to go, and then everything went south. A Zach Edey bucket, an Ohio State turnover, and a big Fletcher Loyer triple delivered a heartbreaking loss to the crowd in Columbus.

Ohio State won exactly one of their games between that meeting and today’s meeting with the Boilers, going 1-11 over the last 43 days, and you can make that 1-12 over the last 13 now, after Purdue dispatched the Buckeyes with relative ease, 82-55. Zach Edey put on a phenomenal performance, dropping 26 points and 11 rebounds on Ohio State, including a whopping seven offensive boards. He also had three blocks. Sensabaugh chipped in 20 for Ohio State, which shot exactly 40% just three days after shooting over 50% at Iowa.

With Zed Key out with a shoulder injury, Chris Holtmann went with a starting lineup of Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, Brice Sensabaugh, Justice Sueing, and Felix Okpara. Matt Painter countered with Braden Smith, Loyer, Ethan Morton, Mason Gillis, and Edey.

Thanks to Thornton’s active hands, Ohio State jumped out to an early 8-2 lead over the Boilermakers through the first two minutes. But the Boilermakers used their size advantage down low to create open looks on the perimeter and took a 12-10 lead by the first media timeout at the 14:50 mark of the first half. Purdue knocked down two of their first three three-pointers in the game — one each from Morton and Loyer. Purdue would not relinquish that lead the rest of the way.

Due to the size mismatch down low and Ohio State’s general inability to guard the ball without fouling, the Boilermakers got into the bonus with 10:29 remaining in the game. Okpara and Sensabugh both picked up two early fouls, and even former walk-on Owen Spencer checked in for a few minutes and picked up two fouls. By the under-eight timeout with 7:19 left in the half, the Boilermakers had the Buckeyes fully on their heels and held a 26-18 lead.

The Boilermakers went to the locker room up 38-29, but truth be told, the first half could have been a whole lot uglier. With Ohio State picking up 12 fouls over the first 20 minutes and a former walk-on guarding Edey at times, the fact that the Buckeyes only trailed by nine at halftime is astounding.

Comparatively, Purdue only committed six fouls in the first half, meaning the Buckeyes never got into the bonus, while Purdue hit the double-bonus with six minutes remaining. Sean McNeil had eight first-half points for the Buckeyes and Sensabaugh had nine, while Edey had 16 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks in the first half.

Purdue outscored Ohio State 9-4 over the first 4:13 of the second half to push their lead to 47-33 by the first media timeout of the second half. Ohio State turned the ball over on three of their first seven possessions of the second half, something that they could not afford to do when Purdue was scoring racking up offensive rebound after offensive rebound at the other end.

Things continued to spiral for Ohio State, as Purdue continued to crash the offensive glass and make mince meat out of the Buckeyes below the basket. Purdue led 62-43 at the under-eight timeout with 7:57 remaining and had out-rebounded Ohio State 36-18 to that point. No amount of effort, grit, or determination was going to be good enough Sunday afternoon to outplay the No. 3 team in the country with the National Player of the Year in Mackey Arena. Ohio State ultimately fell to the Boilermakers, having been outscored 80-47 after taking that early 8-2 lead.

If you weren’t around to see Purdue complete the season sweep of Ohio State today, here are a few key moments and runs that propelled the Boilers to victory:

Ohio State rolling with the freshmen

With Key out and Okpara starting in his place, the Buckeyes started four freshmen together for the first time this season, and for the first time in many years, I’d have to assume. Thornton, Gayle, Sensabaugh, and Okpara make up the key four of the 2022 recruiting class, and all four would likely be starters next season as well if they all return. Purdue, on the flip side, started, started their freshmen backcourt duo of Smith and Loyer.

Gayle finished with three points, one block, and one steal over 22 minutes. Okpara finished with four points, four blocks, two rebounds, and one assist over 16 minutes. Thornton finished with three points, three steals, and one block over 26 minutes.

For Purdue, Smith finished with four points, two rebounds, and two assists over 24 minutes, and Loyer finished with six points, four rebounds and one steal over 26 minutes.

Thornton staying active early

You couldn’t have asked a whole lot more out of Ohio State’s freshman point guard on defense this season — he’s played adequate on-ball defense and is big enough to help on switches as well. Thornton hasn’t collected a ton of steals this season, averaging just 0.8 per game. He also hasn’t been whistled for a ton of fouls — averaging just 1.7 per game.

However, Thornton was a pest in the opening minute of this game, picking the ball from Smith twice over the first 52 seconds, which led to three early points for Ohio State. The Buckeyes jumped out to an early 5-0 lead over the first 52 seconds.

Purdue's 12-2 run gives the Boilers the lead

After Ohio State took an early 8-2 lead over the first two minutes, Purdue quickly answered with a 12-2 run to go ahead 14-10 by the 14:29 mark of the first half. With no Key, Purdue was able to take advantage of the Edey matchup below the basket — sometimes this led to Edey scoring himself, and other times it led to open three-pointers for Morton and Loyer early on.

Purdue gets in the bonus with 10:29 to go, Okpara picks up another foul

Ohio State is a poor defensive team, which is evident by their No. 111 defensive efficiency ranking on KenPom. Ohio State also was tasked with guarding the 7-foot-4 Edey with a combo of Gene Brown, Okpara, and Spencer, which led to a ton of early fouls. Okpara picked up his second of the game with 10:29 remaining in the first half while trying to block a shot from Trey Kaufman-Renn, which was also the seventh team foul on the Buckeyes, putting Purdue in the bonus. Comparatively, Purdue had three team fouls over the first 10 minutes.

Edey pushes Purdue’s lead to double-digits for the first time

Ohio State owned the first two minutes or so of the first half, but after that, it was all Boilermakers. Leading 29-20 with 6:09 remaining in the first half, Edey scored over the top of Likekele and Sueing’s double-team to make it 31-20 Purdue. Sueing answered at the other end with a layup, but Caleb Furst drew another foul at the other end and split the free throws to put Purdue back up 32-22 again with 4:28 left in the half.

Ohio State forces a miss at the buzzer, but Edey slams it home

Trailing 35-29 in the closing seconds of the first half, Ohio State forced Edey to pass out of a triple-team below the basket. Edey passed to David Jenkins Jr. on the right wing, who took a three and missed. But Edey was able to use his 14-foot wingspan and grab the rebound and slam it home for a buzzer-beating putback dunk. It gave Purdue a 38-29 lead. Edey had 16 in the first half.

Purdue pushes lead out to 16, Likekele resumes the foul fest

With a Loyer fastbreak layup with 14:13 remaining in the game, Purdue extended their lead to 51-35 — their largest lead of the game at the time. The Boilermakers outscored Ohio State 13-6 over the first six-plus minutes of the second half, putting separation between the two teams and more or less putting this game out of reach.

Additionally, Isaac Likekele picked up three fouls from the 13:33 mark to the 12:46 mark, racking up the first, second, and third team fouls for Ohio State in the second half all within 47 seconds. Two of those three fouls were while the 6-foot-5 senior was trying to guard Edey.

Purdue gets a friendly bounce to hit 69

Already leading 66-45 with 4:58 remaining, Brandon Newman took a three-pointer from the corner just in front of the Purdue bench. It hit the back iron, bounced up, hit the left side of the rim, the right side, and then finally dropped in. It got Purdue to that oh-so-symbolic 69 mark, to which the students in attendance gleefully cheered and applauded.

Up Next:

Ohio State (11-16, 3-13) now returns how for their final three home games of the year, starting Thursday night against Penn State (16-11, 7-9). This is Ohio State’s only game versus the Nittany Lions this season, who beat Minnesota 76-69 Saturday night. Ohio State’s game against Penn State will tip off at 6:30 p.m. ET. Thursday night and will be broadcast on FS1.