Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
Three days after falling flat on the road to Illinois, the Ohio State men’s basketball team rebounded with a road win against Purdue on Tuesday, 74-64.
After losing to Illinois, coach Thad Matta said he wanted to find out if his team could get ready for a tough battle on the road against a Big Ten opponent. The Buckeyes responded with a resounding “yes,” by jumping out to an early lead against the Boilermakers and holding on at the end.
OSU led for nearly the entire first half, despite playing much of the opening period without junior point guard Aaron Craft, who sat with foul trouble. Shannon Scott ran the show in his absence, and ran it well. The sophomore guard finished the game with eight assists and just one turnover.
In the second half, Craft reentered the game and scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting in his most efficient offensive performance of the season. Craft had been struggling with his shot for weeks, but seemed to play with a newfound confidence in the second half. The Buckeyes have been searching for a second reliable scoring option all season, but if Craft can continue this level of play, the search could be over.
Junior forward Deshaun Thomas led all scorers with 22 points.
With the win, OSU improves to 12-3 on the season and 2-1 in Big Ten play. Perhaps more importantly, the Buckeyes likely regain positive momentum heading into their upcoming showdown with No. 2 Michigan on Jan. 13.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: Jan. 9
An earlier version of this story stated the game was played Wednesday. It was played Tuesday.