Few people gave the Buckeyes much of a chance going into Mackey Arena to take on the Boilermakers. Sure, Purdue dropped its last decision but the Buckeyes were licking their wounds after a bad loss at Williams Arena against Minnesota. But Evan Turner would not let the Bucks fade and helped Ohio State (12-5, 2-3) overcome a 13 point deficit with eight minutes to go to spark a 70-66 win over the No. 6 Purdue Boilermakers (14-2, 2-2).
Turner did not show any lingering effects from his back fracture scoring 32 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Turner was 11-21 from the field and more importantly hit his free throws down the stretch when the Buckeyes needed it most going 9-10 from the charity stripe.
But if you rewind the game 20 minutes prior you would have said that it was the Robbie Hummel show. The Purdue forward was unconscious in the first half going 8 of 10 from beyond the arc and setting a school record in the process. Hummel had 29 in the first half and ended with 35 and was only slowed by the Buckeyes going back to a man-to-man defense and an unfortunate finger injury that caused the Boilermaker to go to the locker room for several minutes.
The Buckeyes were victimized in the first half while playing the zone defense and while shutting down the likes of JaJuan Johnson and Keaton Grant. E'Twaun Moore had 19 points for the Boilers. The Boilers were let down by their bench only getting two points from the four reserves. Ohio State didn't fare much better getting five points out of Jeremie Simmons.
Purdue went to the halftime locker room with a 41-29 lead and the sellout crowd in West Lafayette (Ind.) figured this game would go on to be a rout. But the Buckeyes went on to outscore Purdue 41-25 in the second 20 minutes.
William Buford had 19 points for the Buckeyes and shot a blistering 70-percent from the field. That should have been expected with Ohio State nailing 51-percent of its shots in the game.
In the final stretch of the game though it was all about Turner and he scored 14 of the 18 final Ohio State points. Tuner tied the game up at 62-all hitting a wide open three pointer at the top of the arc. Ohio State capped off a 10-0 run with that mini-run. The Buckeyes went 5-11 from beyond the arc but had a very quiet night from sharpshooter Jon Diebler who was held to six points.
Purdue got the game down to a one possession game after a pair of Hummel free throws with 20 seconds left but was forced to foul Buford and W-B stepped up and hit his free throws to move it to four points and the Boilers were not able to score again.
The Buckeyes will return home to host the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday night and look for a measure of payback after suffering a 65-43 loss at the Kohl Center. Of course the Buckeyes were without Turner for that game and Wisconsin will be without Jon Leuer.