Thomas leads No. 15 Buckeyes past Purdue 74-64
Posted at: 01/08/2013 9:37 PM
By MICHAEL MAROT
(AP) WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Deshaun Thomas scored 22 points to lead No. 15 Ohio State to a 74-64 victory over Purdue on Tuesday night.
The angry Buckeyes (12-3, 2-1) rebounded from their first Big Ten loss by shooting 56.4 percent from the field. They took a 10-point halftime lead despite losing point guard Aaron Craft for all but 4:19 of the first half because of early foul trouble, and Buckeyes coach Thad Matta got his 100th Big Ten victory.
Ohio State has won four of the last five in this series and eight of their last 10 overall.
Purdue (7-8, 1-2) has lost two straight to Top 20 teams since upsetting No. 11 Illinois last week. The Boilermakers were led by the Johnson brothers, Terone, who had 18 points, and Ronnie, who had 11 points, six rebounds and seven assists. A.J. Hammons finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
But the Boilermakers never seriously challenged Ohio State after the Buckeyes took control with 13-2 and 9-0 runs in the first half.
Instead, Ohio State relied on its usually good shooting.
Thomas had a big hand in it and not just on the offensive end. He had seven rebounds.
Yet it almost wasn’t good enough.
The Boilermakers trailed 64-52 with 8:49 left in the game, and were still down 68-54 with about 6 minutes to go.
Purdue rallied with six straight points and got as close as 70-64 with when Terone Johnson made two free throws with 2:59 left. But the Buckeyes got a long jumper from Sam Thompson with 1:41 to go and the Buckeyes didn’t give up another point.
Ohio State just had too many scorers for the Boilermakers to keep up with.
The difference, as usual, was Thomas. He helped Ohio State open the lead by going 10 of 15 from the field. After Craft went to the bench with 15:41 left in the first half and D.J. Byrd hit a 3-pointer to give Purdue a 9-7 lead, Thomas took over.
He spurred a 13-2 run that put Ohio State in control 20-11.
A few minutes later, it happened again. This time, Thomas started a 9-0 spurt by hitting a 12-foot jumper and a 3, and when it ended, the Buckeyes led 31-17. Purdue got as close as 35-27, but still trailed a 39-29 at halftime.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)