March 9, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Jared Sullinger had a season-high 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help No. 7 Ohio State beat Purdue 88-71 on Friday night in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
Deshaun Thomas had 22 points and seven rebounds, and William Buford scored nine of his 11 points in the second half for the third-seeded Buckeyes (26-6). Ohio State shot 61 percent to post its second-best scoring output of the season and outrebounded Purdue 39-28.
The Buckeyes will play No. 10 Michigan in a semifinal on Saturday. The Wolverines defeated Minnesota 73-69 in overtime in an earlier quarterfinal.
D.J. Byrd scored 20 points and Terone Johnson added 15 for the Boilermakers (21-12). Robbie Hummel, Purdue's top scorer, finished with six points on 2-for-8 shooting.
The Boilermakers made 12 of 26 from 3-point range but were overwhelmed by Ohio State's size and athleticism in the paint.
Purdue missed its first five shots to fall behind 7-0, and the deficit increased to 19-11 before the Boilermakers rallied. Byrd hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to cut Ohio State's lead to 33-30.
Hummel stuffed Sullinger's shot on one end and Anthony Johnson made a 3-pointer on the other end to trim Ohio State's lead to 35-33. Sullinger's 3-pointer with 34 seconds left in the first half gave the Buckeyes a 40-36 lead at the break. Ohio State shot 60 percent from the field in the first half, but Purdue hung tough by making 6 of 13 from long range.
The Buckeyes pushed their lead to 52-41 early in the second half after Sullinger scored six points during an 8-0 run.
Byrd drained another 3 to trim Ohio State's lead to 62-59, but the Buckeyes took over from there. Buford came back with a three-point play, Thomas scored on a putback, Sullinger scored on a post-up against Hummel and Buford converted another three-point play to give the Buckeyes a 72-61 lead with 5:23 remaining. A 3-pointer by Buford bumped the lead to 14, and the Buckeyes remained in control from there.