Keita Bates-Diop lifts Ohio State in huge, 64-63 road win over Purdue

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: Keita Bates-Diop
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: Keita Bates-Diop /

No. 3 Purdue brought a huge crowd with plenty of volume, but the No. 14 Buckeyes stole a win for Columbus.

Big Ten play, for the most part, continues to showcase the grit and grind of a conference with a ruling upper-class. Tonight, in a huge conference battle, two teams in the ruling class squared off, but the underdog had some magic up their sleeve.

The first half of action contained plenty of fight from a Buckeyes team fighting the crowd. With noise regularly rocking the at-capacity 14,804-seat Mackey Arena, Ohio State took until the 14:28 mark to score their first basket.

Meanwhile, Purdue played to their strengths, a size advantage fronted by Isaac Haas. It’s easy to take the 7-foot-2 senior’s 16 points on 6 of 7 shooting. However, his ability to force Micah Potter (2 fouls) and Kaleb Wesson (3 fouls) into nasty foul positioning hurt Ohio State even more.

Carsen Edwards had early tricks up his sleeve as well, scoring 12 in the first half on 3-of-6 shooting (5-of-5 from the free-throw line). Edwards provided energy baskets, creating good looks at the rim.

Despite the daunting Purdue front, Ohio State kept pace with the Boilermakers. Credit Keita Bates-Diop for his 8 points on 4-of-9 shooting and emphatic set of 5 rebounds.

Bates-Diop continued to prove his ability to provide Ohio State with enough energy to stay alive.

The most surprising moment of the first half may have been the shooting of freshman guard Musa Jallow. His 6 first-half point came on a pair of threes, where he’s shooting 22.9-percent from beyond the arc this season.

After a quick run and a big bucket from Jae’Sean Tate at the end of the half, Ohio State showed signs of life. The Buckeyes trailed just 31-29 to the Boilermakers after 20 minutes.

With a compelling first half already in the books, the next twenty minutes packed plenty of drama as well. 

The second half of play didn’t allow Ohio State a lot of room for error. Early on, Purdue seemed to have the Buckeyes offense in check and their shot on-mark from three.

Early in the second, the Buckeyes upset bid looked improbable; Purdue found a stroke from three and Ohio State didn’t have much of an answer.

Seemingly, even the easy chances for the Buckeyes wouldn’t go through the nylon.

Purdue jumped out to a convincing 53-39 lead with 10:15 left in action. Carsen Edwards lead the Boilermakers attack again the second. He scored a career-high 28 points on 8-of-14 shooting with a crisp 4-of-7 from three.

Throughout the season, Ohio State’s depth has been in question, but tonight proved the Buckeyes have options. In his second-career start, Andre Wesson scored 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting (3-of-5 from three). He also played defense on Isaac Haas in the second half, holding Purdue’s giant to just 2 points in the second half.

With limited time left, Chris Holtmann’s Buckeyes left themselves enough room for a late strike.

The biggest moments started with 0:23 remaining, with Andrew Dakich grabbing an offensive board, followed by a time-out. On the inbound, Jae’Sean Tate got the ball, milked the clock, and dribbled to the rim for an off-balance lay-up, an obvious miss but Keita Bates-Diop snuck under the rim and  scored the game-winning basket with 2.6 seconds left.

After a good look from Haas at the buzzer, Ohio State left the court holding a 64-63 victory over the Boilermakers. After his huge, late shot, Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Additionally, he held Purdue’s senior star Vince Edwards to just 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Down the stretch, Ohio State closed a 25-10 run, leading them over the No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers, who last lost on November 24th, 2017, snapping a 17-game win streak. Furthermore, Purdue last lost at home on January 1st, 2017, snapping a 20-game home winning streak.

Now, the Buckeyes come home for a Saturday evening duel with Iowa, a club the Buckeyes already bested this season. It will be important for the team to hold momentum because this win is truly huge in the grand scheme of March Madness seeding.