In a game that was billed as the second matchup between Big Ten Player of the Year candidates Jared Sullinger and JaJuan Johnson, Purdue senior guard E’Twaun Moore stole the show.
Moore scored a career-high 38 points, and fueled a late first-half run to help Purdue hand the Ohio State men’s basketball team its second loss of the season, with a 76-63 win over the Buckeyes on Sunday.
After playing a closely contested first 15 minutes of the game, OSU coach Thad Matta found himself forced to send Sullinger and junior guard William Buford to the bench, with each player having picked up two fouls.
With the Buckeyes’ top two leading scorers on the bench, Moore took the game over, single handedly fueling a 13-5 Boilermaker run to give Purdue a 37-33 advantage heading into halftime.
Moore didn’t cool off in the second half, as he helped extend the Boilermaker lead out to 10 points with less than four minutes remaining in the game.
OSU showed signs of life, cutting the Boilermaker lead to four points with 2:34 left in the game on a Sullinger dunk, but Moore put the nail in OSU’s coffin with a dagger 3-pointer on the next possession.
Sullinger led the Buckeyes in scoring with 25 points and senior guard Jon Diebler scored 11, breaking the Big Ten record for career 3-pointers made in the process.
No. 2 OSU’s loss to Purdue completes a week in which the teams that owned the top four spots in the polls lost, as Kansas, Pittsburgh and Texas all suffered losses in the past seven days.
After starting the season 24-0, OSU’s loss is its second in the past three games, after the Buckeyes picked up their first loss Feb. 12 in a game at Wisconsin. OSU will look to bounce back on Tuesday when it hosts Illinois at the Schottenstein Center.