Ohio State Beats Purdue 67-49

The Buckeyes looked sloppy at times, but some slick shooting from Lenzelle Smith Jr. and a harassing defense allowed Ohio State to pull ahead and win Saturday night. Smith was hot behind the arc, hitting four of seven three-point attempts and finished with 16 points along with five assists. LaQuinton Ross led in scoring with 17 points and also led in rebounding with six rebounds.

Ohio State struggled at times finding a good shot, something that has plagued them all season. But when the Buckeyes made good shot selections it paid off. What’s frustrating about watching this team is there’s a good bit of talent, but carelessness and poor decision-making seems to throw them off pretty easily. The saving grace for the team though is it’s defense, which stepped up even more in the second half. Purdue had a hard time getting any offensive rhythm and their starters struggled mightily in this game.

Outside of A.J. Hammons’ 11 points, the other four Boilermakers’ starters combined for only 13 points. As I noted in my preview, Hammons had to have a big game and his fellow starters needed to provide consistent shooting to supplement him. And obviously they didn’t do it. Besides the Buckeyes’ inconsistency on offense, two bench players for Purdue stepped up and kept them in the game. Rapheal Davis and Kendall Stephens contributed 11 points and 12 points respectively off the pine. If it wasn’t for their contributions, Purdue would’ve been blown out.

While the Buckeyes looked like they were going to lose it at times, especially with about around nine minutes to go, they made their shots when had to the most. Shannon Scott had a nice game off the bench providing key shots when necessary and finished with nine points. If Scott can start providing some consistent relief off the bench, that could help Ohio State tremendously come March. Aaron Craft did what he does best and that is being the leader of the team. Craft finished with seven points, four assists and three steals. It gets said a lot, but his presence on defense is what makes the Buckeyes defense good instead of just decent.

With the win, Ohio State has now won three straight games. It’s amazing how the tone of the fans has changed over the past week. Winning tends to do that, huh? I think this team is going to be just fine and will be as ready as they can be come crunch time in March. Up next for Ohio State is arch rival Michigan, who just lost to Iowa on Saturday. A win over the team up north would be great for the Buckeyes’ resume and would continue the momentum the Buckeyes have rebuilt with their three consecutive wins.

Trackbacks

  1. […] three straight wins (over Wisconsin, Iowa, and Purdue), Ohio State seems to be on a little mini-run heading into the game against Michigan, a showdown of […]

Leave a Reply to Ohio State Men’s Basketball Back in the AP Poll Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: