Columbus, OH – William Buford netted a game-high 29 points 84, on Tuesday.
"I like the fact that we made the plays we had to make down the stretch to win the game," said Ohio State head coach Thad Matta. "I like that we made our free throws down the stretch - that was big."
Four Boilermakers finished in double figures, paced by D.J. Byrd's career-best 24 for Purdue (15-9, 5-6). Kelsey Barlow and Lewis Jackson both had 14, and Robbie Hummel rounded out the group with 13 points.
The teams exchanged the lead 16 times, including 14 times in the second half, but a jumper by Buford with 4:30 to play gave the Buckeyes a 75-73 lead, an advantage they did not relinquish. Buford tacked on five more in a row to put the home team up 80-73.
After Craft and Thomas together sunk 5-of-6 free throws, seperated by a monster breakaway dunk by Buford with 38 seconds to play, Byrd and Hummel each drained a three-pointer in the game's final 15 seconds for the Boilermakers, but it was too little, too late.
Ohio State led by as many as 11 in the first, but Purdue ended the half on a 12-3 run and the teams were tied 40-40 at the break. Byrd scored 17 of his points in the first half, primarily due to a 5-for-5 mark from behind the arc.
"We had a better fight to us. Obviously, you are going to look better when you make shots; we made a lot of shots today," said Purdue head coach Matt Painter. "We just didn't catch a couple of those breaks at the end. We didn't get those loose balls and some things didn't go our way. We played harder but it wasn't good enough, we lost."
This was the 166th meeting in the all-time series. The teams are now tied, 83-83...Ohio State has won 39 consecutive games at home...The Boilermakers are 0-5 against ranked opponents this season.