This was a gut punch.
All eyes in the Big Ten were on West Lafayette Wednesday night. Mackey Arena was loud enough and frantic enough that Chris Holtman, head coach of Ohio State, said it was the best game environment he’d ever experienced. Purdue fans brought their best.
The game itself didn’t disappoint. The Boilermakers came into the game looking to extend their 19-game win streak and solidify their bid for a second outright conference championship. They left with heartbreaking one-point loss, 64-63.
Ohio State got a strong performance out of Keita Bates-Diop, who scored the game winning tip-in. The Buckeyes got unexpected production from beyond the arc by Musa Jallow and Andre Wesson. Jallow and Wesson were roughly 25% shooters from three coming into Wednesday’s game; on Wednesday, they combined to shoot 6-9 for a 67% clip, including a banked three in the closing minutes.
Throughout the season Purdue has lived by the mantra, “Purdue won’t beat Purdue.” Wednesday night, Purdue did beat Purdue. The Boilermakers had 12 turnovers, several of which occurred during Ohio State’s run to erase a 14 point second half deficit. One rebound in the last 45 seconds, and Purdue most likely seals the win.
Carsen Edwards had an exceptional game for the Boilers scoring 28 points, and Isaac Haas scored scored 18, but just two in the second half.
Winning one out of the two games this week is critical for Purdue’s hopes of being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Despite the 19-game winning streak, Purdue has been on the mat before this season. The Boilermakers dropped two in the Bahamas in November. How will they respond on Saturday in East Lansing?
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