WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP)—Ohio State’s Evan Turner dismantled Purdue’s highly respected defense.
He scored 23 of his career-high 32 points in the second half, and the Buckeyes rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat No. 6 Purdue 70-66 on Tuesday night.
Turner scored 14 of Ohio State’s final 18 points. He also had nine rebounds in his third game since missing a month with a fracture in his back.
Ohio State coach Thad Matta said he’s not sure Turner is 100 percent healthy.
“Honestly, I hope about 50,” Matta joked. “I think he’s getting it back. I’ve gone back, I’ve looked at a lot of tape of when we’ve had him (before the injury), and he was playing at a high level. I thought he played at a high level tonight.”
Purdue coach Matt Painter couldn’t find the right defense for the 6-foot-7 point guard.
“Evan Turner had his way with all of our guys,” Painter said.
The Buckeyes withstood one of the best single-game efforts in Mackey Arena. Robbie Hummel scored 29 of his career-high 35 points in the first half for Purdue (14-2, 2-2 Big Ten). He tied a school-record with eight 3-pointers and had 10 rebounds.
Painter lauded Hummel’s effort.
“It was great,” he said. “He carried us. I thought Ohio State was quicker to the basketball and played harder than we did, and he just flat out saved us.”
Turner wasn’t trying to outscore Hummel.
“I was just motivated to try and win,” he said. “I know I’m going to end up getting my points and my shots.”
William Buford had 19 points and seven rebounds for the Buckeyes (12-5, 2-3), who were in danger of falling out of the conference race early. Instead, the Buckeyes toppled the conference’s highest-ranked team and now feel they are still in the race.
“A lot of people are going to lose here and there,” Turner said. “A lot of people are going to lose in this building, and a lot of people are going to lose at Michigan State in other places.”
E’Twaun Moore added 19 points for the Boilermakers, who lost their second straight after tying a school record with 14 straight wins to start the season. Purdue was coming off a 73-66 loss at Wisconsin on Saturday.
It was the first home loss for the Boilermakers this season.
“We had some older guys that did not play like juniors and seniors,” Painter said.
Purdue took an early 13-9 lead before Ohio State responded with a 9-0 run, including three buckets by Buford, to take an 18-13 advantage with 10 minutes to play in the first half.
Hummel responded with perhaps the most impressive 3-point shooting barrage in Purdue history. He made six threes in the final 6:02 of the half to shoot Ohio State out of its zone. The Boilermakers closed the first half on an 11-2 run that included three 3-pointers by Hummel to take a 41-29 lead.
Hummel’s eight threes in the half tied Cuonzo Martin’s school record for 3-pointers in a game set in 1994 and broke the Mackey Arena record of seven in a game. He surpassed his previous career high of 25 points before the break.
Ohio State abandoned its 1-3-1 zone late in the first half after Hummel’s barrage, and David Lighty guarded him for most of the second half.
“I challenged Dave to guard him and he did a good job,” Matta said. “I knew he was getting tired. We just kept asking him to stay with it.”
Ohio State started the second half with a 13-6 run to cut Purdue’s lead to 47-42, but Moore converted a 3-point play to temporarily slow the Buckeyes’ momentum.
The Buckeyes closed to 58-52, but a layup by Moore after an Ohio State turnover, then a fast-break dunk by JaJuan Johnson made it 62-52 with 4:07 to play.
Ohio State responded with a 10-0 run, all on points by Turner, to tie the game. Hummel left the game late with a dislocated pinky finger, but he returned minutes later with two fingers on his left hand taped together with 2:04 left.
Hummel made two free throws with 20.5 seconds remaining, but Ohio State got the ball inbounds against Purdue’s pressure, and Buford converted two free throws with 16.8 seconds left to create the final margin.
“It’s disappointing that you put yourself in position to win, and you didn’t, on your home court,” Painter said.