(Image courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, stats courtesy of teamrankings.com)
Ohio State (17-9, 7-7) hosted Purdue Saturday afternoon and turned away the Boilermakers (14-12, 7-8) with a 68-52 win. After being left for dead with a January record of 2-5, the Buckeyes have resuscitated themselves by going 4-1 to date in February. This run has moved them from 13th place in the conference to 8th place.
Kaleb Wesson hit a 3-pt shot from the top of the key less than a minute into the game and Ohio State would never trail.
The Buckeyes had three players score in double figures. Kyle Young had a career high 16 points to lead Ohio State. Kaleb Wesson had 13 and Luther Mohammad had 11. Kaleb pulled in 8 rebounds. CJ Walker had 4 assists, as did Kaleb. Unfortunately, Kaleb also had a game high 6 turnovers.
The Boilermakers had two players in double figures. Evan Boudreaux had 17 points and Jahaad Proctor had 15. Travis Williams had 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
Ohio State shot 49% (22-45) from the field, 44% (9-20) from 3-point range and 65% (15-23) from the foul line.
Purdue shot 35% from the field (19-54), 20% (4-20) from 3-point range and 91% (10-11) from the foul line.
Several things worked out well Saturday afternoon:
- Luther Mohammad actually had a good game as an off-ball #2 player. If he can get the ball in a point-shoot situation, he might be productive offensively.
- Guard play was actually pretty good. The combination of Muhammad/Washington/Walker combined for 7 assists and 3 turnovers. They contributed 8 rebounds and 27 points. An all around nice performance.
- Purdue’s inability to grind down Kaleb Wesson. With two sizable forwards (Williams at 6′ and Haarms at 7’2″) Matt Painter had 10 fouls to give to get Kaleb out of the game. Williams rebounded well, but didn’t score much and Haarms was totally ineffectual. Kaleb was on the floor for 30 productive minutes.
- Ball handling continues to be an issue. The 16 turnovers are embarrassing. It didn’t hurt because; a) Purdue also had 16 turnovers, and b) Purdue shot poorly. The Brothers Wesson need to get their acts together since they combined for 9 turnovers. To date, Kaleb far and away, has the most turnovers of anyone on the tea and Andre has the 4th most.
- Luther Mohammad as a point guard. He had only 1 turnover but it could easily have been 4 – 5. He has a maddeningly tendency to dive to the basket, get airborne, then try to find someone to pass to before he commits a TO. Helter-Skelter is not the way to run an offense.
- Free throw shooting of 15-23 (65%) is not good. There will be a game withing the next month where OSU wishes it had another 5-6 points.
Ohio State (17-8, 7-7) is currently in 8th place in the B1G Conference. TeamRankings.com has them projected to go 4-2 to finish the regular season. That’s about my guess, too, although at this point, Michigan State may be a winnable game..
The Buckeyes head to Iowa City, IA to play the Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa is(18-8, 9-6) is currently in 3rd place and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Buckeyes in conference play. The game is scheduled for Thursday, February 20th with tip-off at 7:00 pm ET. You can watch the game on ESPN or listen to it on 97.1 TheFan. Or both.