Purdue played cat-and-mouse again in a major Big Ten game, building a big advantage early and seeing if it had enough juice left to hold on. The Boilermakers lost the big lead at home against Ohio State, held the big lead on the road last week against Michigan State, and held it again Wednesday. That’s progress -– but also an unnerving pattern for Purdue fans to endure.
Ohio State closed to within two at 48-46, got the crowd on its feet … and then the offense rested. Perhaps out of necessity, given the load on superstar Evan Turner. On the Buckeyes’ ensuing six possessions after that point, they lofted jumpers of at least 17 feet. They made none of them. They got zero offensive rebounds. Credit Purdue for walling off the interior, but Ohio State was far too content to settle for jump shots.
JaJuan Johnson loves Value City Arena. The Purdue center scored his career high of 30 points here last year, and had 24 points tonight.