No. 15 Ohio State falls at home to Purdue, snapping three-game win streak

Adam Jardy
Buckeye Xtra
Purdue Boilermakers forward Trevion Williams (50) grabs a rebound away from Ohio State Buckeyes forward Zed Key (23) during the first half of the men's basketball game at Value City Arena in Columbus on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.

Jaden Ivey’s three-pointer with five seconds left gave Purdue a comeback win against No. 15 Ohio State.

The Buckeyes led by five points with two minutes to play before Trevion Williams scored in the paint, the Buckeyes were called for a shot clock violation and Sasha Stefanovic drilled a tying three with 52 seconds left to make it a 64-all game.

The Buckeyes looked for a shot, called timeout with 33.4 seconds left and 11 on the shot clock and reassessed. The ball again made its way to Ahrens, but his attempt was blocked and the ball went out of bounds with 25.3 left. Purdue was awarded possession, and after a lengthy video review the call was upheld.

Ivey hit the three with five seconds left. Duane Washington Jr. was fouled with 2.4 seconds left, and he hit the first free throw to set the final score at 67-65.

Washington would miss the second intentionally but the Buckeyes couldn't control the tip for a game-winning shot attempt.

The Boilermakers made their final five field-goal attempts to complete the comeback.

"I thought we played hard at stretches, just not quite hard enough," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. "Give Purdue credit. Thought they made a lot of really tough plays in the game."

The loss is only the second time in Holtmann's four years that the Buckeyes have lost while leading by double figures. Ohio State had an 11-point first-half lead. The last time it happened, the Buckeyes led Minnesota by 11 points before losing 62-59 at Value City Arena on January 23, 2020.

Purdue (11-5, 6-3 Big Ten) has now won consecutive games against ranked Ohio State teams for the first time ever. The Buckeyes (11-4, 5-4) had won three straight and attempted a season-high 35 three-pointers in the loss.

“We were just getting good, open looks the majority of the time,” senior forward Kyle Young said. “They were playing off multiple different guys. We wanted to take those shots because we have confidence in everybody who can shoot that.”

Washington led the Buckeyes with 21 points. Ahrens finished with 12.

After leading by six at the half, the Buckeyes traded blows with the Boilermakers throughout the second half as neither team could mount a run of any significance, but Ohio State held a 50-46 lead with 7:46 to play when Purdue scored on three straight possessions to take its first lead since the opening two minutes of the game.

But after Trevion Williams scored to make it a 52-50 Purdue lead, Seth Towns connected on a three-pointer at the other end to reclaim the lead at 53-52 with 5:58 left. They were the first points for Towns, who briefly left the game and hobbled to the locker room earlier in the half before returning.

It set up a back-and-forth finish, one that saw the Buckeyes enjoy a little breathing room when E.J. Liddell hit a jumper from the right elbow and Duane Washington Jr. followed it with a three that hit both sides of the rim, rattled a little bit and fell through with 3:35 left to push Ohio State ahead 60-54.

The Buckeyes shot their way to the early lead by forgoing their interior offense and bombing threes on the Boilermakers, who had limited opponents to 22.9% (16 for 70) three-point shooting during their three-game win streak. Ohio State opened with three free throws from Justin Ahrens after he was fouled attempting a three, then built a 15-8 lead by hitting four threes, two from Justice Sueing.

It wasn’t until 7:46 remained in the first half that the Buckeyes hit on a field goal from inside the three-point line, and they would hit two straight on a Kyle Young floater in the paint and then a Duane Washington Jr. mid-range jumper. The latter would give Ohio State a 23-21 lead, and it would start an 11-0 burst during which Ahrens hit a spectacular three and Washington followed it with back-to-back makes of his own.

Ahrens’ three came on the early favorite for highlight of the year after E.J. Liddell nabbed a long offensive rebound while falling out of bounds near the Ohio State bench. He threw the ball upcourt toward Sueing, who at the same time had fallen down and was facing back toward the defensive end of the floor. He caught the pass while on his bottom and deftly flipped it up to Young, who caught it in stride, crossed midcourt and spied Ahrens in the right wing for the open three.

The end result of the run was a 32-21 Ohio State lead, but Purdue would cut into it during the final minutes and pull within 37-31 at the half. After having gone 6 for 20 (30.0%) from three in the first matchup between the teams this season, Ohio State was 9 for 22 (40.9%) from three during the first half alone while attempting only seven two-point field goals.

Washington had 14 first-half points.