Fletcher Loyer had 11 second half points and a game-winner after sitting on the bench to start the second half, as the #1 Boilermakers won, 71-69, against the #24 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
Loyer had zero points and 4 turnovers in the first half and Painter went to sixth year senior, David Jenkins Jr., to start the second half. The move couldn’t have worked better. Jenkins Jr. jumped out of a season long slump to make all three of his three-pointers, and Loyer started and ended his 12 second half minutes with 2 of his 3 made three-pointers in the half.
Brice Sensabaugh was sensational for most of the game, scoring 21 points, but Ethan Morton drew a key charge late and denied the true freshman the ball in the last few possessions.
It looked like Purdue was going to have another game of poor shooting. They missed their first 8 three-point attempts before David Jenkins Jr. hit a possession saver with the shot clock winding down. From that three on, Purdue would have their best shooting performance of the season, making 13 of their last 23 attempts from distance.
Zach Edey got the ball just enough in the second half to help keep Purdue afloat, scoring 12 of his 16 points in the second half and he finished with 11 rebounds for another double-double. He made the basket that pulled Purdue to one and then made the assist out to Loyer for the game winner.
None of that happens if Ohio State doesn’t turn over the ball after Edey’s last hook shot. Ethan Morton was able to steal the Justice Sueing pass near the baseline after getting the inbounds pass.
Purdue has seen this before – an offense capable of creating open looks for its shooters, an offense incapable of making those open threes.
Fletcher Loyer started with a three from the right wing, then it was Caleb Furst and Braden Smith missing from the left wing. It took a circus finish with Ethan Morton’s left hand at the rim to get Purdue on the board at Value City Arena.
On the other end, Brice Sensabaugh got an open lane and threw down a dunk with two hands. He’d score again in transition off Smith’s missed three. Ohio State jumped out to a 6-3 lead after Caleb Furst converted just 1 of 2 free throws, but Purdue didn’t get to 13-0 by folding early, and when their shots couldn’t fall, they were hitting the offensive glass hard.
Purdue had 5 offensive rebounds in the first 4 minutes of action while starting the game 2 of 9 from the floor.
Purdue was already winning the rebound game when the Buckeyes best rebounder and starting center, Zed Key, went out with an apparent shoulder injury.
It wouldn’t be the only injury scare for Ohio State, as Sean McNeil came down awkwardly and appeared to twist his ankle on a jump shot with 13:38 to play in the first half.
The Buckeyes had a 13-7 lead at the time as Purdue continued to struggle to make shots.
Purdue continued to struggle with Ohio State’s physicality on defense, shooting 3 of 16 to start the game. Ohio State turned those misses into transition baskets.
David Jenkins Jr. got a screen up top from Zach Edey and had a lane to the basket, and went up for a lay up. The ball hit the glass and deflected off the rim. Ohio State was off and running, tossing an outlet pass out to Brice Sensabaugh who finished through Brandon Newman’s foul at the other end, sending himself to the line with an And-1 and a 17-7 lead for the Buckeyes. His made free throw would give the Buckeyes an 11 point advantage eight minutes into the game.
David Jenkins Jr. finally broke the seal for Purdue, making the team’s first 3 after missing their first 8 attempts. The shot pulled Purdue back into single-digits, trailing 18-10.
Braden Smith followed with a highlight finger roll finish as he went sprawling to the baseline. Purdue would trade baskets with the Buckeyes, as Likekele hit the circle button and laid in a lefty-lay up at the rim and Furst hit a hook shot in the post to pull Purdue back to 20-14.
But Purdue’s defense could not contain Ohio State early. The Buckeyes started the game shooting 10 of 17 compared to Purdue’s 6 of 23 at the under 8-minute stoppage.
Purdue’s offense started to find life and more offensive rebounds. Ethan Morton was able to knock a three down from the right corner and Braden Smith followed it up with a lay up where goal tending was called and Purdue cut the lead back to 7.
An offensive rebound and dunk game Edey just his second basket and third and fourth point, but Purdue continued to struggle to get stops on one of the nation’s best offensives. After a Braden Smith made a three pointer to cut the lead to 30-24, Justice Sueing hit a pull up three over Zach Edey as the shot clock was winding down.
Caleb Furst would have his shot blocked at the rim on the ensuing possession and the Buckeyes would have the ball with a chance to extend the lead to double figures again.
But Mason Gillis and Zach Edey forced Sueing into a tough floater and Gillis secured the put back attempt. Edey then got the ball in the post where Ohio State doubled and he found David Jenkins Jr. who hit his second three of the game. The following possession Mason Gillis got open at the top of the key and nailed a three.
The Purdue team that couldn’t make a shot to start the game started to not be able to miss. Braden Smith forced a steal and saved it to David Jenkins Jr at mid-court. Smith would get the ball back in the corner and make his first three of the game, giving Purdue a 33-33 tie and six three-pointers for the half.
Ohio State would respond with a left corner three from Eugene Brown III, his first points of the game.
Ethan Morton would draw a charge on Brice Sensabaugh with 13 seconds left in the half after Purdue failed to score and what was looking like a disaster first half for #1 Purdue on the road, turned into just a 36-33 deficit.
Zed Key did not return in the first half after his shoulder injury. Sean McNeil returned from his foot injury.
Neither team started the same five in the second half with Zed Key injured and David Jenkins Jr. and Mason Gillis taking the place of Fletcher Loyer and Caleb Furst.
The move for Painter was about getting his hands hot on the floor, and it paid dividends immediately, with Mason Gillis making a corner three between Zach Edey hook shots. Edey was finally able to get positioning in the post and doubled his first half out put in just two touches.
But the Buckeyes continued their hot shooting. Thornton hit a pull up three after a pick and roll got the big man Edey defending the freshman point guard one on one at the top of the key.
Edey responded at the other end, but Sueing continued to make shots for Ohio State, knocking down a tough step back two in the mid-range.
Braden Smith had a nice feed to Edey in the following possession and Edey finished with a lefty layup that pushed the game back to 43-42 Ohio State.
Sueing and Smith would then trade three-pointers after a nice sequence of swing passes from Purdue that led to an open three in the corner.
Fletcher Loyer started the second half on the bench for the first time in his career. The true freshman didn’t take long to make an impact when he did come into the game for David Jenkins Jr. The ball found him on his first possession in the second half and he knocked down his first three-pointer of the game and gave Purdue their first lead in the second half, 48-46.
Ethan Morton would deflect a pass and gather the steal, taking it to the hoop and drawing a foul on Likekele. His two free throws pushed Purdue’s lead to 52-46.
Brice Sensabaugh had another response after Ohio State blocked a Zach Edey shot attempt, the freshman had an open lane in transition and threw down a vicious dunk to pull Ohio State back to four.
Loyer hit another jump shot, but Purdue started to get careless with the ball again and Ethan Morton dove towards the scorer’s bench but couldn’t save an errant pass that ended up going out of bounds with Purdue up 54-52 with 10:47 left in the game.
Sensabaugh has gotten better throughout the season, and his layup to tie the game at 54 gave him 19 points. It was his 6th straight game with at least 18 points.
David Jenkins Jr. came into Columbus as a shooter without a shot, but Painter gave him the starting nod in the second half after the sixth-year senior knocked down two threes in the first half, and his third three put Purdue back on top as the shot clocked expired .
But the Buckeyes continued to respond. Roddy Gayle Jr. hit a tough floater and Trey Kaufman-Renn was charged for an offensive foul in the post. Then Braden Smith knocked down the second of two free throws, and Felix Okpara found just enough space inside to get a floater off to tie the game back up at 58-58.
The Buckeyes looked to make a final push and close out the #1 team in the country. Sueing hit a tough turnaround over Mason Gillis to go up 2 then McNeil hit a pull up on a switch and the Buckeyes went up 62-58.
But Purdue’s ball movement found Ethan Morton on the perimeter and the junior knocked down his second three and pulled the lead back to 1. Sueing would then make the second of two free throws before Purdue continued to do what they hadn’t done all season – make three pointers.
Fletcher Loyer knocked down his second of the game to give Purdue the 64-63 lead.
It looked like Purdue was going to extend the lead further when Smith found Morton in transition but instead of a lay up, Morton was called for traveling as he caught the pass and Ohio State would get the chance to take back the lead with just under 4 minutes in the game.
Ohio State leaned on their freshman to make baskets for them late, and Sensabaugh pulled off another tough mid-range bucket over Ethan Morton that gave OSU the lead back at 65-64.
Purdue went to their best player at the other end and Edey drew a foul inside, where he knocked down both free throws and gave Purdue the 1 point lead with 3:00 left.
Ethan Morton was then able to draw a charge on Sensabaugh for the second time, but Gillis was unable to stretch Purdue’s lead when a three bounced off the rim and ricocheted left.
Okpara then drew a foul on Edey at the rim, made his first free throw, and then missed his second, but the ball went over Mason Gillis in the post and Ohio State was able to secure the offense rebound and Chris Holtmann called a timeout with 1:53 in the game and both teams at 66.
With 7 seconds on the shot clock, 1:14 remaining, and the game tied, Painter called a timeout and designed a quick in bounds play. Braden Smith got the ball up top and Edey went to set a screen. Smith went away from it and created a corner look for Mason Gillis, but Gillis’s shot went just long and OSU secured the rebound.
It was Holtmann’s turn to call a timeout in a tied ball game and come up with a play to get a basket for the Buckeyes with 59.5 seconds remaining.
It wasn’t the play called up as Holtmann tried to get Sueing in the post, but Mason Gillis denied him and Sean McNeil had to go to plan B. He crossed over Fletcher Loyer and then hit a step back with a few seconds remaining. After a review, it was confirmed as a three-pointer and it gave Ohio State the 69-66 lead with 40.3 seconds remaining.
For Purdue, it must have seemed like deja vu. Just a few days earlier Rutgers knocked off the #1 team with a three from the same spot with 10 seconds left in the game.
But Purdue would have chances to respond, and Zach Edey was given work one on one in the post with Ohio State not wanting to give up the tie. Edey got the ball on the left block and hit a hook shot for his 16th point of the game.
Ohio State would get the ball back with a 69-68 lead and 28.3 seconds left. They inbounded the ball cleanly but a second pass was picked off by Ethan Morton and Purdue would have a chance to take the lead or tie. Purdue would call a timeout trailing 69-68 with 17.5 seconds left.
Sometimes stories have a way of writing themselves, and drawing up a play, the ball unsurprisingly found Edey in the post just trailing one. So the Buckeyes doubled and Edey for the second straight game made the correct basketball play and kicked it out.
This time it found true freshman Loyer who started the half on the bench. Loyer found nothing but net and gave Purdue a 71-69 lead.
And when Thornton threw his last second heave up and it fell harmlessly to the ground, the freshman Loyer’s shot became a game winner.