2011 Ohio State Basketball
Buckeyes Make Statement with Blowout Victory
When the Ohio State Buckeyes became the No. 1 ranked team over a week ago, the overall sentiment was that it wouldn’t last long.
With the likes of powerhouse programs such as Syracuse, Kansas, Pitt and Duke still lurking near the top of the polls, several media members and experts were predicting a carousel from week to week for the No. 1 ranking.
After the Buckeyes 87-64 beat down of the NO. 23 ranked Purdue Boilermakers on Tuesday night; some of those experts are changing their minds. It wasn't so much the way OSU blew the Boilermakers that caught everyone's attention; it was more the fashion in which the beat down was accessed.
The Bucks came out of the gates with an intensity not seen in college basketball this season, relentlessly pressuring the Boilermakers on defense, clawing for every loose ball, fighting for every rebound, all while draining shots from everywhere on the floor. Especially from mid and long-range, scoring 45 percent of its 87 points from beyond 16 feet.
Every OSU opponent faces a dilemma. Do you double down on the beast Jared Sullinger at the risk of leaving the perimeter shooters open? Or do you try to contain the big man and match up with the sharp shooters behind the arc?
Well clearly, the Boilermakers couldn't do either.
William Buford led this prolific scoring attack by bucketing a team-high 19 points as Sullinger continued his solid play by adding 17 points of his own.
Not to be outdone, Jon Diebler had 13 points and a career-high eight rebounds, Deshaun Thomas added 13 points, David Lighty scored 10 points and Aaron Craft had 11 points and six assists.
JaJuan Johnson led Purdue with 22 points and E'Twaun Moore added 16 for the Boilermakers (17-4, 6-2).
Purdue is now 2-18 all time against top-ranked teams ranked, including 0-5 against Ohio State when the Bucks are ranked No. 1.
The Buckeyes shot better from the field (55.2 percent) than they did the free-throw line (54.5) leading head coach Thad Matta to playfully ask the refs if his team could shoot the free-throws from the three-point line.
Ahead by 20 points at halftime after shooting 57 percent from the field and converting 6-of-9 triples, the Bucks kept their feet on the gas pedal even as Purdue turned up the pressure in the second half.
You knew it was the Buckeyes night when late in the shot clock, with the Boilermakers scrambling to get back in the game, the 6-foot-9 Sullinger threw in a trey as the packed Value City Arena crowd went crazy.
Up until Tuesday night, the Buckeyes have been played tough in the Big Ten. Out of their seven conference wins, five have been won by five points or less.
The Big Ten test continues on Saturday when Ohio State travels to Northwestern to square off against the Wildcats.
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