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Men’s Basketball: Ohio State falls big to No. 14 Purdue 86-51 in first game without Kaleb Wesson

Ohio State walks toward the bench after the game against Purdue on Jan. 23. Ohio State lost 79-67. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

When asked how Ohio State would adapt to playing without Kaleb Wesson, head coach Chris Holtmann said other players would have to step up.

The sophomore forward and the Buckeyes’ leading scorer and rebounder was hit with an indefinite suspension for a violation of Ohio State Athletics Department policy. In the first game without him, Ohio State (18-11, 8-10 Big Ten) was decimated.

Following their best victory of the season, a 90-70 win against No. 22 Iowa, The Buckeyes were handedly defeated by No. 14 Purdue 86-51, the worst margin of defeat for Ohio State since a 35-point loss to Maryland on Jan. 16, 2016.

This was Purdue’s (22-8, 15-3 Big Ten) 15th win at home, the third time in school history the Boilermakers have gone undefeated inside Mackey Arena for an entire season, and the largest victory for the Boilermakers since defeating Rutgers by 35 on Jan. 15.

In the dominating win, Purdue shot 55.9 percent and outrebounded Ohio State 39 to 27 while holding the Buckeyes to 33.3 percent shooting and 10.5 percent from 3.

Ohio State never led in the game, and were never within 10 points at any point after 11:27 remaining in the first half.

Purdue led 48-20 at halftime behind 57.6 percent shooting and 8-of-14 from behind the arc.

On the other end, the Buckeyes shot 27.3 percent from the field, hitting two of their 13 attempts from 3.

In the first half, the Boilermakers went on runs of seven and 11 points to extend their lead. Ohio State did not score for more than four minutes in the middle of the half.

Junior guard Carsen Edwards, the leading scorer in the Big Ten, continued his impressive scoring on Saturday, finishing with 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting in 29 minutes.

No one on Ohio State finished with more than 16.

Freshman forward Jaedon Ledee earned the second start of his collegiate career with Wesson out of the lineup, and he led the team with six points on 2-of-4 shooting in the first half.

Ledee finished with a team-leading 16 points to go along with three rebounds.

The Buckeyes went on an 8-0 run in the second half to cut the lead to 60-32, their largest scoring run of the game. But the game was already in the hands of the Boilermakers by the time any momentum was found.

Holtmann said Friday Wesson’s timetable for a return is unknown, but that he expects the sophomore forward to come back before the end of the regular season.

With a result like this one against Purdue, the worst loss of Ohio State’s season, that return may come sooner rather than later.

Ohio State attempts to bounce back on the road against Northwestern at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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