Buckeyes Upset No. 2 Purdue 73-69 In First Game Under Interim Head Coach Jake Diebler

COLUMBUS — For the first time since a win over No. 1 Duke in 2021, the Buckeyes have secured a victory over a top 5 team with Sunday’s 73-69 win over No. 2 Purdue (23-3, 12-3).

In the first game for Ohio State (15-11, 5-10) since head coach Chris Holtmann was fired four days earlier, the Buckeyes went out and never trailed after a basket from freshman forward Devin Royal gave OSU a 31-30 lead with 2:28 remaining in the first half.

Ohio State interim head coach Jake Diebler had his team pushing the pace and playing the aggressor, but then also executing calmly down the stretch.

Point guard Bruce Thornton led the Buckeyes with 22 points and forward Jamison Battle scored 19 on just 6-of-8 shooting. Battle hit three of his five three-point attempts. Battle and Thornton hit all six of their free throws down the stretch.

Purdue All-American center Zach Edey scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds but was forced into six turnovers. Ohio State outscored the Boilermakers 22-5 in points off of turnovers. As a team, the Buckeyes had just six turnovers, compared to Purdue’s 14.

Ohio State shot 28-of-58 from the field (48.3%) but were outrebounded 36-23.

Purdue started the game with an 8-0 lead, but the Buckeyes eventually tied the game up at 16-16 following a dunk by guard Roddy Gayle. The Boilers then quickly built up a 28-21 lead with just under six minutes left in the first half. The Buckeyes responded with an 8-0 run with baskets from Zed Key, Austin Parks, Gayle, and a pair of free throws from Thornton.

Ohio State closed the half on a 14-2 run to lead 35-30 at intermission.

The Buckeyes built a 50-38 lead with 14:20 left in the game and then began the process of holding on as the Boilers made the comeback attempt. Ohio State kept Purdue at arm’s length for the most part, but the lead was finally whittled away completely when Purdue’s Lance Jones hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 65-65 with 1:39 remaining.

Battle answered that basket with a jumper in the lane 20 seconds later. Key then knocked the ball away from Edey on the Boilers’ next possession. Battle was fouled a few moments later and drained both of his free throws to give OSU a 69-65 lead.

Purdue would then trade layups for free throws and could never get the ball back with an opportunity to tie or take the lead.

The Buckeyes will next be on the court Thursday night at Minnesota for an 8:00 pm tip.

Buckeye Huddle will have more from this game, including full postgame video coverage.

Box Score

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