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Purdue University

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Associated Press
Ohio State’s Marc Loving, right, shoots as Purdue’s A.J. Hammons defends during the second half of the Buckeyes’ win in Columbus, Ohio.

Boilers wither after rally as Buckeyes roll

– Purdue couldn’t hold on to momentum or the ball in the second half Saturday, and it cost the Boilermakers in a 67-49 loss to Ohio State in front of 18,809 in Value City Arena.

“We just imploded with about 10 minutes to go in the second half,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We had it to one possession. We had a call go against us, and then we just self-destructed.”

The Boilermakers began to come apart after they cut a 46-36 deficit to 48-45 with 9:23 to play. The self-destruct button was hit when A.J. Hammons got called for running over Ohio State’s Aaron Craft with 8:53 to play.

After the Hammons foul, Purdue (14-10, 4-7 Big Ten) turned the ball over five times and scored only twice as Ohio State (19-5, 6-5) closed the game on a 19-4 run.

“It was just on us, just being more focused and making better decisions. We’ve got to take care of the ball,” said Hammons, who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Purdue committed 15 turnovers that led to 18 Ohio State points, and the Boilermakers failed to convert on their chances in the first half, shooting 10 of 30 in the opening 20 minutes.

Kendall Stephens scored a team-high 12 points for Purdue, and Fort Wayne native Rapheal Davis scored 11 on 5-of-5 shooting.

Purdue has lost five of its last six and will be off until playing host to in-state rival Indiana next Saturday.

“We just have to be better moving forward,” Davis said. “It’s just coming to work every day, trying to get better. It’s coming extra, watch extra film, put up extra shots, lift extra weights and being ready and being a better all-around person.

“I think the little things carry into games sometimes, whether that’s missing a breakfast, missing a class, I think sometimes it carries into game, so just be better all around.”

LaQuinton Ross scored 17 for Ohio State, and Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 16.

After giving up nine offensive rebounds in the first half, Ohio State gave up just one more after halftime. The Buckeyes also caused 11 of the Boilermakers’ turnovers after halftime, and 12 of their points off turnovers came after the break.

“Our stops led to great offense,” Smith said. “It picks us up as a team. It gives us great energy. Guys are high-fiving. The crowd is into it, and it’s just the type of basketball we want to play.”

Purdue got the start it wanted with Hammons scoring the game’s first four points on a putback slam and jumper in the paint as Ohio State missed its first six shots and the Boilermakers led 6-0 four minutes into the game.

But the Buckeyes made their next five shots to go up 10-6 with 12:43 left in the first half. The Boilermakers fell behind by nine four times in the half and went into halftime trailing 31-25.

Purdue started the second half strong, making five of seven shots, but Ohio State made six of its first nine second-half shots as its lead climbed to 46-36.

Purdue cut its deficit to 48-45 with 9:23 to play, but shortly thereafter came the foul then the implosion.

“I just don’t think we have that consistency and that maturity yet to make those necessary plays to win games,” Painter said. “Today, when you have 15 turnovers, then we only have one offensive rebound in the second half, that kind of says it all.”

tkrausz@jg.net

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