WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – No. 14 Ohio State used a season-low 12 different lineup combinations against No. 3 Purdue, but the ones the Buckeyes used got the job done. Two of them had never before been used, and they helped key a 64-63 win at Mackey Arena in which foul trouble and problematic matchups hurt the Ohio State starters.
Here’s a deeper look at which lineups did what against the Boilermakers.
*The first lineup change of the game brought a previously unused group to the court. Trailing 4-0 with 15:53 to play, the Buckeyes brought Micah Potter in for Kaleb Wesson, marking the first time they used a lineup of Keita Bates-Diop, C.J. Jackson, Jae’Sean Tate, Andre Wesson and Potter.
They did very well. In the next 2:51, that group gave the Buckeyes a lead with an 8-1 run before Andrew Dakich replaced Andre Wesson with 13:02 left in the half. This was probably the first sign that it wasn’t going to be Kaleb Wesson’s night.
*That same group appeared together with 7:59 to play in the first half and Purdue leading 14-13, but Dakich ran the point in place of Jackson. This lineup, too, had never been used before, but it didn’t fare quite as well and was outscored 3-2 in 1:41.
*Trailing 17-15 with 6:18 left, Holtmann tried to go with his starters but Kaleb Wesson picked up his third foul after 1:10 and had to come out with Purdue ahead 19-18. Kyle Young replaced him, putting him on the court with Bates-Diop, Jackson, Tate and Andre Wesson. That group had played together for only 2:04 all season, and it was outscored 12-4 in 3:13 before the Buckeyes went small for the first time all game.
*Ohio State clawed back into the game with a 7-0 run to close the first half, and it came with this lineup on the floor: Bates-Diop, Jackson, Jallow, Tate and Andre Wesson. That group forced two missed shots and a turnover to make it only a two-point halftime deficit for the Buckeyes. Entering the game, that group had been outscored 15-6 in a combined 9:15.
*It was back to the starters to open the second half, but Kaleb Wesson picked up his fourth foul with 16:52 to play and that essentially ended his night. Potter replaced him, reuniting a lineup that had an 8-1 first-half run, but this time it didn’t go so well. In 3:36, that group was outscored 12-5 as Purdue built its lead to 45-36 with 13:16 to play.
*Dakich relieved Potter, and that was the end of his night as the Buckeyes went small until the final 2.6 seconds of the game.
*Purdue’s lead hit a game-high 14 points with 10:17 to play thanks to a 6-0 run against the lineup of Bates-Diop, Dakich, Jackson, Jallow and Andre Wesson, but that group then got a layup from Bates-Diop and a three from Jallow to end a shift of 1:53 having scored five points and allowing six.
*With 9:05 to play and the Purdue lead at 53-44, Holtmann pulled Jackson for Tate, going with essentially two guards (Dakich and Jallow) and forwards (Bates-Diop, Tate and Andre Wesson). This group had one bit appearance totaling 25 seconds in the last seven games, but it started the comeback with a slight 7-5 edge during the next 3:39 to make it a seven-point deficit with 5:26 to play.
*Jackson then replaced Tate, and the comeback was on. In 1:59, Bates-Diop, Dakich, Jackson, Jallow and Andre Wesson made it a three-point game with a 6-2 run.
*Tate replaced Jallow with 3:27 to play and the Purdue lead at 60-57, and this lineup of Bates-Diop, Dakich, Jackson, Tate and Andre Wesson capped the comeback. Until Kaleb Wesson entered with 2.6 seconds to play to body up Isaac Haas on a full-court desperation pass, that group closed the game with a 7-3 run to take the 64-63 win. That lineup finished the day plus-7 (18 points scored, 11 allowed) in 7:26.
*Ohio State’s starters played a combined 8:25 together and were outscored 8-5. It tied for the fewest points scored by the starters all season. The other time was when foul trouble to Bates-Diop limited the starting lineup to five points scored and allowed in only 4:41 against North Carolina on Dec. 23. In its two games together, this starting lineup has both scored and allowed 33 points.