No deja vu Secondhalf comeback fails for OSU

The Ohio State men’s basketball team’s 15-game home win streak and nine-game conference win streak came to an end Wednesday night after a 60-57 loss to No. 4 Purdue. The story of the game was Purdue’s first-half dominance. In front of the first sell-out crowd of the season at the Schottenstein Center, the Boilermakers jumped out to an early lead and led for all 40 minutes of Wednesday’s game. With just more than seven minutes remaining in the first half, junior Evan Turner converted a three-point play and for the first time all night the capacity crowd erupted. The jubilation was short lived, however, as Purdue’s Keaton Grant immediately responded with a four-point play at the other end. The crowd again rose to its feet when junior Jon Diebler made the team’s first three-point basket with less than a minute ago. But again, the Boilermakers answered, this time with a three-point play. In the first half “they made some shots and some of us didn’t have our heads right,” Turner said. “As a unit we didn’t execute how we were supposed to.”Purdue led by 13 at the break and although the Buckeyes got as close as 48-46 late in the second half, the first half struggles proved to be too much to overcome. OSU had one last chance in the waning moments when Diebler took and missed a potential game-tying three-pointer as time expired. “I got a good look,” Diebler said. “I should have knocked it down. There’s really no excuses.”Unlike in last month’s game at Purdue, the Buckeyes did a much better job of containing junior Robbie Hummel. Hummel torched Ohio State 35 points in the first meeting, but was held to just four Wednesday.However, OSU simply had no answer for junior JaJuan Johnson. After scoring a season-low four points in the first meeting between these two teams, Johnson led the way offensively for the Boilermakers. He scored a team-high 24 points on 11-17 shooting. “He made shots and those were some tough shots,” Diebler said. “That’s a heck of a basketball player right there.”As expected, Turner handled the bulk of the load for the Buckeyes and scored a game-high 29 points. With the loss, OSU dropped to 10-4 in conference play, but the Buckeyes have little time to regroup. They travel to East Lansing, Mich., Sunday to play the Big Ten’s first-place team. “You have to be honest with yourself and say ‘OK what didn’t we do well?’ but we have another tremendous challenge down the pipe,” coach Thad Matta said. “I told the guys after the game, we have to be a better basketball team on Sunday.”

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