COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s basketball team lost its Big Ten home opener and second straight game of the season with a 76-75 defeat at the hands of No. 20 Purdue on Thursday night.
With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 10-5 on the season, with an 0-2 mark in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers, meanwhile, advance to 13-3 on the season and 2-1 in conference play.
How it happened
After playing to a 20-all tie in the game’s opening 8 minutes, the Buckeyes used a 9-2 run to take a 29-24 lead with 8:29 remaining in the first half. The Boilermakers, however, secured a 43-36 lead following an 11-0 run, before an off-balance Marc Loving 3-pointer at the buzzer trimmed Purdue’s advantage to four heading into halftime.
The Boilermakers opened the second half on an 8-4 run, stretching their lead to double digits on a Carsen Edwards’ jumper at the 16:29 mark. The Buckeyes, however, wouldn’t go away quietly, as a Trevor Thompson 3-point play trimmed Purdue’s advantage to 55-53 with 14 minutes remaining in the game before a Kam Williams jumper 48 seconds later tied the game.
Purdue regained the lead on four straight points from forward Vincent Edwards. After the Boilermakers stretched their lead to as many as seven points, Ohio State bounced back with a pair of Loving free throws to trim Purdue’s lead to two with 4:36 left on the clock.
It took more than a full 4 minutes for the Buckeyes to finally tie the game. Ohio State took the ball out of a timeout with 29.3 remaining and trailing 75-73. Trevor Thompson was fouled on layup make that tied the game. Thompson, however, missed the ensuing free throw before fouling Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan.
The star sophomore made one of his two attempts, but that was enough as JaQuan Lyle missed a shot at the buzzer to seal the Boilermakers’ win.
What it means for Ohio State
With Thursday’s loss, the Buckeyes missed out on another opportunity to add a quality win to their potential NCAA Tournament resume. Of its 10 wins on the season, Ohio State has yet to defeat a ranked team, and only one has come against an opponent that’s currently ranked — No. 25 Navy.
With the bulk of Big Ten play ahead, the Buckeyes will have plenty of opportunities to strengthen their tournament case in the coming weeks, but the next 10 days in particular will bring a tough stretch. Ohio State’s next three opponents currently lay claim to a combined record of 37-9.
It’s far from time to panic when it comes to the Buckeyes’ postseason hopes. But it’s also fair to begin wondering that if Ohio State can’t win close contests like Thursday’s game, when will the Buckeyes pick up their first quality win of the season?
Swanigan and Purdue forward Vincent Edwards each scored 16 points and were joined in double digits by guard Dakota Mathias (14) and Carsen Edwards (12).
Jae’Sean Tate led the Buckeyes with a team-high 17 points. Loving scored 14, Thompson scored 11 and Williams added 10.
Lyle struggled from the field against the Boilermakers, connecting on 3 of his 11 shot attempts for 8 points.
Who was there
Members of the 1986 Buckeyes basketball team watched Thursday night’s game from a suite and were honored during a first-half TV timeout. The team was the first in Ohio State history to win the National Invitation Tournament.
Also in attendance and seated behind the Buckeyes’ bench was 2019 Gahanna Lincoln 4-star forward Jordan Mitchell. The 29th ranked player in the 2019 class, Mitchell has received scholarship offers from the Buckeyes, as well as Florida, Iowa and Xavier.
The Buckeyes have a quick turnaround this weekend, traveling to Minnesota on Sunday to take on the Golden Gophers. Heading into its own Thursday night matchup against Northwestern, Minnesota had a 13-2 record. Guard Nate Mason has paced the Golden Gophers this season with averages of 14.7 points and 5.8 assists per game.
Ohio State has a busy week ahead, with Thursday night’s game being the first of four contests in 11 days. After their matchup with Minnesota, the Buckeyes will face No. 13 Wisconsin on the road next Thursday before hosting Michigan State on Jan. 15.