Buckeyes meet Boilermakers in Big Ten battle

The third-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will try to keep sole possession of first place in the Big Ten Conference as they welcome the Purdue Boilermakers to Value City Arena for a league battle.

This will be the 166th meeting in the all-time series. Purdue holds an 83-82 lead in the rivalry after each team defended its home floor in last season's home and home series.

Head coach Matt Painter's Purdue team is 15-8 overall, and 5-5 in league play after a 78-61 loss to the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday. The Boilermakers' lost for the third time in four tries as they shot an unimpressive 29.6 percent from the floor. Purdue has averaged only 68.5 points per game in Big Ten action so far, and it has allowed its league rivals to net 68.5 ppg. The Boilermakers have gone 0-4 against ranked opponents this season.

Robbie Hummel is pacing Purdue this season as he is the sixth leading scorer in the Big Ten with an averages of 15.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Hummel recorded a double-double his last time out, as he scored 16 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and blocked five shots in the loss to Indiana. Lewis Jackson is the second leading scorer for the Boilermakers with an average of 9.9 ppg, and leads the team with 3.9 assists per game. Ryne Smith, Kelsey Barlow, and Terone Johnson are all solid contributors for Painter's squad.

Thad Matta's Buckeyes come in with an impressive 20-3 record after a crucial 58-52 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers their last time out. The victory improved the team's Big Ten record to 8-2. Ohio State has won five straight games, with all but one of the victories coming by double-digit margins. The Buckeyes have been sharp at both ends of the floor this season and exhibited their talents against Wisconsin by shooting 43.1 percent from the field and holding the Badgers to 40.0 percent shooting. Ohio State leads the Big Ten with a +21.0 scoring margin in league action.

Jared Sullinger leads the charge for Ohio State with averages of 17.4 ppg and 9.1 rpg. The star sophomore recorded a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds versus Wisconsin. Sullinger has now recorded 10 double-doubles this season. William Buford and Deshaun Thomas are both quality players for the Buckeyes as they each have averages just under 15 ppg. Buford has scored in double figures in six straight contests. Thomas has averaged 14 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the floor over his last two outings. Aaron Craft leads the Buckeyes in both assists (4.9) and steals (2.3).