(Photo courtesy cleveland.com. Game information courtesy OhioStateBuckeyes.com, ESPN.com)

The Buckeyes (10-5, 0-2) opened home conference play with a heart-breaking 76-75 loss to the #20 Boilermakers Thursday night at Value City Arena. This was a closely contested effort with Ohio State almost pulling off an upset. In JC’s preview, he foretold who would come up big for Purdue. He also felt that the Buckeyes would be in it until the very end. How right he was…

The Buckeyes had four players in double digits; Jae’Sean Tate (17 pts), Marc Loving (14), Trevor Thompson (11) and Kam Williams (10). Loving led the Buckeye in rebounds (9, 1 offensive) and Trevor had (7, 5). That’s it; 6 offensive rebounds – more on that later.

The Boilermakers also had four double-digit scorers; Caleb Swanigan, of course (16 pts), Vincent Edwards (16), Carsen (not related) Edwards (11) and Dakota Mathias (14). Swanigan pulled yet another double-double by grabbing 11 rebounds and Isaac Haas had 10 rebounds.

Off we go for the post-mortem…

  • I’ll get this out of the way. Ohio State got absolutely blistered on the glass, particularly at the offensive end. Purdue held  a 44-32 advantage in total rebounds and a 14-6 advantage with offensive rebounds. A result of superior offensive rebounding is opportunity for “2nd chance points”, be it via put-backs or additional possession. Purdue outscored Ohio State 19-9 on 2nd chance points. This  rebounding needs to be corrected if OSU is to move beyond being a “tough out”.  Otherwise, this is who we are and we have to live with it.
  • As long as I’m harping about offensive rebounding, I’d like to point out the tenacious play of Trevor Thompson. Despite having a couple miscues (more on that later) Trevor did show improved activity in the paint with his rebounding and shot blocking (he had 3 blocks). On the other end of the spectrum,  Jae’Sean Tate had no offensive rebounds against Purdue. This is the second consecutive game where Tate has gone without an offensive rebound. Jae’Sean needs to get this nonsense turned around immediately. He is a mediocre jump shooter and an even worse free throw shooter; if he doesn’t “work the boards” he doesn’t add much value to this offense.
  • Thad’s task just got a bit tougher Thursday. Due to a leg injury, Kieta Bates-Diop was a scratch for the game. Later, it was announced that due to injury, KBD will miss the balance of the season. He brought  9.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg and needed stability to the floor. Now is the time for others to step up to fill the void.
  • I thought this would be an interesting game since early on in the contest there were a couple of “christ, here we go” moments. The first was at the 17:17 mark of the first half when Caleb Swanigan banked a 3-ptr from the top of the key. I’m guessing he did not “call” that shot. It still counted. The 2nd “christ, here we go” event was an unforced turnover by Trevor at about the 5:33 mark of the first half. He had the ball at the high post and seemed to want to get the ball to JaQuan or Kam. He may have thought the ball was a filched cookie and tried to get rid of the evidence or thought it was a live hand grenade and felt a need to get rid of it. He threw it out of bounds.
  • At the end of the 1st half, the Buckeyes went into a 4 minute scoring slump as a 4 point lead flipped to a 7 point deficit. At the buzzer, Loving canned a 3-pt shot to cut the deficit to 4. Clutch shot at the half.
  • Ohio State immediately let the game get away from them in the 2nd half, with the deficit growing to 10 points after 3:30 of play. During this stretch, they were outscored 10 – 4, as Purdue made 5 of 7 field goals during this run.
  •  The Buckeyes never had the lead in the 2nd half. They tied the game at 55 all at the 13:12 mark in the 2nd half and at 75 all in the last 15 seconds. To Ohio State’s credit, Purdue just could not put them away. There were misplays here and there for OSU, but there was rarely a lack of effort.
  • Finally, I caught a few Twitter comments dissing Trevor’s play at the end of the game. You just need to relax. Don’t feign to pin this loss on him. There were 12-15 plays during the game (at least) where Ohio State failed to make a play or Purdue did make a play. There were plenty of opportunities for things to go just a bit differently for Ohio State to win.


Up Next

The travel to Minnesota for a game in The Barn versus Minnesota (14-2, 2-1) on Sunday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST. The game can be seen on the Big Ten Network and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.