2011 Ohio State Basketball
Big Ten Gap Narrows in Buckeye Loss
On January 25th, the Purdue Boilermakers visited Columbus and got spanked, 87-46, by the then undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes. The two teams were seemingly headed in different directions as the Buckeyes widened their lead in the Big Ten standings.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, and the story has completely changed.
The Boilermakers, led by Senior E'Twaun Moore's 38 points, handed the Buckeyes a 76-63 loss, the Buckeyes second conference loss in the last three games.
In defeat, the Buckeyes fall to 12-2 in the Big Ten while Purdue jumps into second place in the conference with an 11-3 record.
Purdue's win capped a week that saw the top four teams in the Top 25 lose a game. With losses in the past week by No. 1 Kansas, Texas (No. 2 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) and No. 4 Pittsburgh, the Buckeyes entered the game in line to reclaim the No. 1 ranking they dropped after losing at Wisconsin last weekend.
Jared Sullinger once again but in another solid performance leading the Bucks with 25 points as Jon Diebler scored 11 points and David Lighty and Aaron Craft each added 10 points.
Diebler entered the contest one 3-pointer short of the Big Ten career record of 331 set by Penn State's Pete Lisicky from 1994-1998. Diebler tied the record on a fadeaway as the shot clock expired that gave Ohio State an 11-5 lead, and broke it on a shot from the right corner, one minute into the second half.
Despite uncharacteristically not taking care of the basketball, Ohio State led 28-24 in the first half before Moore took over. He hit a 3-pointer, and then scored on a ridiculous fastbreak layup to give Purdue the lead. Moore followed that with two more triples to give the Boilermakers a 35-30 lead.
Lighty's 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in the first half cut the lead to two, but Moore drained yet another jumper over in the closing seconds of the half to push Purdue's lead to 37-33.
Moore was just too much for the Buckeyes, and wasn't just scoring. He found a streaking Terone Johnson with a behind-the-back pass, and Johnson's layup gave Purdue a 48-42 lead. Moore then made a long jumper to push the lead to double digits for the first time.
Ohio State hung around and when Sullinger drove for a monstrous, two-handed dunk, plus the foul, his free throw cut Purdue's lead to 56-51 with 7:15 remaining.
After another barrage of threes from Moore, Ohio State closed the gap once again at 65-61, but Moore hit another 3-pointer, and Purdue led by at least seven points the rest of the way to close out the Buckeyes first double-digit defeat of the season.
Ohio State a putrid 6-of-22 from the field and committed nine turnovers in the second half.
Now with the gap in the Big Ten shrinking, every conference game from here on out is important.
The next test for the Buckeyes comes Tuesday night as they host the Illinois Fighting Illini at Value City Arena.
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