It took the Ohio State men’s basketball team a little while to get things going against Purdue, but once it did, it never looked back.
Despite spotting the Boilermakers the first six points of the game — four of which went to 7-foot sophomore center A.J. Hammons — OSU would storm back to take a 12-11 lead with 11:23 to play in the first half. The Buckeyes would never trail again, eventually winning, 67-49.
After taking the lead, Buckeye junior guard Shannon Scott — who told coach Thad Matta he wanted to come off the bench prior to the 59-58 win at Wisconsin Feb. 1 — hit back-to-back jumpers to extend the lead to 17-11.
The Buckeyes (19-5, 6-5) made 12 of their next 22 shots after starting the game 0-6 from the field and led 31-25 at halftime.
The Buckeyes extended their lead to 10 with 13:26 to go after a 3-pointer by senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. and fast break layup by Scott.
The Boilermakers (14-10, 4-7) were able to cut the lead to three, though, after a 3-pointer by senior guard Terone Johnson.
That is as close at they would get.
A pair of 3-pointers by Smith Jr., a dunk from junior forward LaQuinton Ross and a layup from senior guard Aaron Craft helped OSU extend its lead to 60-47 with 4:07 remaining.
Ross got a breakaway dunk to put an exclamation point on the win, as OSU won its third straight game. He finished with a game-high 17 points on 6-10 shooting.
Smith Jr. — who made four 3-pointers in the game — chipped in 16 of his own.
Freshman guard Kendall Stephens led Purdue with 12 points in the loss. Hammons finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Buckeyes are set to take on No. 10 Michigan Tuesday at the Schottenstein Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m.