Buckeyes Boil Purdue, 80-64
J.J. Sullinger
J.J. Sullinger
Assistant Editor
Posted Jan 11, 2006


Ohio State built a big first half lead and cruised to an 80-64 victory over host Purdue on Wednesday. J.J. Sullinger led the Buckeyes with 17 points and seven rebounds. No. 19 Ohio State is now 12-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten.

Ohio State brought its 3-point shooting stroke to West Lafayette on Wednesday.

The Buckeyes made 11 of 22 shots from long distance and buried host Purdue, 80-64.

Senior forward J.J. Sullinger led OSU (12-1, 2-1 Big Ten) with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Senior center Matt Kiefer paced Purdue (6-8, 0-3) with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Terence Dials had 13 points for OSU, Matt Sylvester added 10, and Je’Kel Foster had 10 points and a career-high six steals.

“I didn’t give a game ball, but I would love to give it to Je’Kel Foster,” OSU coach Thad Matta told WBNS radio. “His effort and intensity, landing on the floor, that’s the toughness that you need when you go on the road. To our guys’ credit I thought they hung with it.”

The Buckeyes weren’t only hot from 3-point range. They shot 53.4 percent from the floor (31 of 58) and 70 percent from the free throw line (70 percent).

Purdue shot well from the floor (50.9 percent), but struggled from 3-point range (3 of 12 for 25 percent).

Ohio State’s Sullinger had a strong game offensively, and on the glass.

“And that was the thing, to see James get back on the boards and do a good job of rebounding is vitally important to us,” Matta said.

In the first half, the Buckeyes jumped out to a 12-2 lead by the first media timeout (15:58).

A Sylvester Mayes steal and lay-up pushed the advantage to 19-8 at the 12:20 mark.

Purdue was able to get as close as five (25-20), but OSU then began to turn it on.

A Dials basket gave the Buckeyes a 37-24 lead, and a 3-pointer from Sullinger made it 40-26 at the 2:38 mark.

Purdue was able to cut the deficit to 11, but a buzzer-beating Ron Lewis 3-pointer from beyond NBA range made the score 46-32 OSU at halftime.

The No. 19 Buckeyes were 8 of 13 from 3-point range in the opening stanza.

In the second half, a Jamar Butler steal and lay-up gave OSU a 54-36 advantage at the 15:50 mark. A Mayes 3-pointer, followed by a Foster trey, pushed the Buckeyes’ lead to 64-42 with 12:34 remaining.

A Matt Sylvester reverse lay-up pushed the OSU lead to 68-45 at the 11:00 mark. A few possessions later, a Butler runner made the count 72-47 and OSU coasted from there.

The Boilermakers suffered their first home loss of the season. Entering play, they were 6-0 at home, 0-6 on the road, and 0-1 at neutral sites. Purdue, under the direction of first-year head coach Matt Painter, is a young team. It is playing without its best player, senior forward Karl Landry, who is taking a medical redshirt this season.

However, the Buckeyes were not taking this game lightly. Purdue has been a strong team at Mackey Arena this season, but OSU was too much on this night.

“One of the big challenges was coming out the first four minutes of the second half,” Matta said. “We won the first three media timeouts of the half.”

Ohio State hassled Purdue for much of the game with relentless defensive pressure.

“That was kind of what we wanted to do,” Matta said. “I thought Je’Kel with his play to star the second half was tremendous and that was probably the key of us getting such a big lead.”

But Purdue’s shooting percentage did not make the OSU coach happy.

“We’ve got to find a way to get better because right now our defense is not good enough,” Matta said.

The coach was also not pleased with the way the Buckeyes finished the game. They allowed nine points to be shaved off their once 25-point lead.

“I thought we played 34 minutes of really good basketball. We lost our minds there a little bit at the end which is disturbing,” Matta said.

Ohio State gets back in action Sunday at home against Michigan State (4:30 p.m., CBS).



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