INDIANAPOLIS (WCMH) — Ohio State is one step closer in its quest for a Big Ten tournament title.
In a quarterfinal against Purdue, the Buckeyes built a big halftime lead and then held on to defeat the Boilermakers 87-78 in overtime at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Next for the Buckeyes is Michigan, the tournament’s top seed, in a semifinal at 1 p.m. Saturday.
In overtime, Seth Towns made a three-pointer and a field goal to put Ohio State ahead 80-76 with 2:08 left. Duane Washington Jr. followed with a three for an 83-76 lead. He later added two free throws.
The Buckeyes led by 18 points at halftime. The Boilermakers chipped it down to 10 points in the first five minutes of the second half, then down to five points in the next five. Ohio State struggled to make its shots, going a seven-minute stretch without a field goal.
An early exit for Kyle Young hurt the Buckeyes. He left the game after taking an elbow to the head in the second half, finishing with 18 points.
Purdue tied the score in the final minute, and the game went to overtime tied at 72.
SECOND HALF/OT SLIDESHOW
Washington led the Buckeyes with 20 points. E.J. Liddell finished with 17 points, including 12 after halftime. Justice Sueing made 10 rebounds.
Washington punctuated the Buckeyes’ big first half with a slam dunk to put them ahead 26-18. He had 13 points at halftime.
Young made his presence felt for the Buckeyes by making his first four three-point attempts. Young, whose career-high was 18 points, matched that total, all coming in the first half.
The Buckeyes shot 45.5% from the field and made 11 of 31 three-point attempts. They had 41 rebounds with 28 coming on defense. Trevion Williams had 26 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Boilermakers, who made 43.5% of their shots from the field.
FIRST HALF SLIDESHOW
Here are other things to know about the game:
- Ohio State, the No. 5 seed, advanced Thursday with a 79-75 win over Minnesota. No. 4 Purdue received the last of the byes into the quarterfinal round.
- In the last meeting between Ohio State and Purdue on Jan. 19, the Boilermakers shot 48.1% from the field while limiting Ohio State to just 37.7% on the way 67-65 victory. The Buckeyes won seven straight games after that loss before ending the regular season with four straight losses.
- The Buckeyes are ranked No. 9 this week in the Associated Press Top 25. That is also their position in the NET rankings that the NCAA uses in seeding the men’s basketball tournament. It makes the Buckeyes a likely 2 or 3 seed when the field is announced Sunday, regardless of how they perform in the conference tournament.
- The Wolverines, the tournament’s top seed, advanced with a 79-66 win over Maryland earlier Friday.
- The tournament final is at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.