2/15/20 Ohio State, Nojel Eastern

Junior guard Nojel Eastern moves the ball against Ohio State's defense Saturday. Eastern, who started the game, did not score in Ohio State's 68-52 win.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Purdue men's basketball team fell behind early and stayed behind at Ohio State on Saturday afternoon, losing 68-52.

The Boilers (14-12, 7-8 Big Ten) couldn't find the basket for the majority of the game, hitting multiple scoring droughts in the first half alone. The team shot 19-54 from the court and 4-20 from beyond the arc, led by 17 points from senior forward Evan Boudreaux. With this loss, the Boilers fall to 3-7 on the road.

Purdue created offensive opportunities for itself, but couldn't capitalize on its shots, sitting at 14-41 at the halfway point of the second half. The ball spent more time bouncing off the rim or in a scrum when Purdue had possession than it did falling through the net. Purdue committed 16 turnovers and committed 21 personal fouls.

"Getting them to turnover 10 times in the first half and only having 20 points," Purdue head coach Matt Painter said, "we had to do a better job of converting. We had a couple of possessions there where we just made poor decisions."

The Boilermaker defense limited OSU's offensive production somewhat, but the Buckeyes scored points where and when it counted. Purdue forced 16 turnovers and got nine steals and three blocks, but Ohio State still shot 49% from the field and 45% from beyond the arc.

"We had some lulls, offensively, that I didn't love, " Buckeye head coach Chris Holtmann said. "We just were not popping up with the ball on offense. That's my biggest frustration"

Every time Purdue got OSU's lead within 10 points, the Buckeyes rallied and extended their lead back into a comfortable range. The smallest lead of the game came early in the first half, when OSU led 16-12. 

With three minutes left in the game and a 16-point Buckeye lead, fans started leaving Value City Arena. Their faith was upheld, as the Buckeyes maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game. OSU claimed its fifth win in the last six games and broke a 2-0 Purdue winning streak over the Buckeyes.

The Boilermakers will return to the court at 7 p.m. on Tuesday against Wisconsin in Madison.

Halftime Notes

The Purdue men's basketball team got off to a slow start against Ohio State this afternoon, going into halftime behind 29-20. 

The Boilermakers (14-11, 7-7 Big Ten) have hit a pair of over three-minute scoring droughts in the first half against the Buckeyes (16-8, 6-7). The team is shooting 32% from the field and 22% from the 3-point line.

The Buckeyes are shooting a stronger 48% from the field and have gone 5-10 from the arc, led by 7 points from guard C.J. Walker. 

The Boilers couldn't find momentum in the first half, scoring intermittently and largely playing defense against the Buckeyes. Neither team exploded for points, but Ohio State made its opportunities count and focused on keeping the lead over Purdue.

Purdue's defense managed to limit Ohio State's offensive production, forcing nine turnovers and getting five steals in the half. Late in the half, the Boilermakers forced a five-minute scoring drought from the Buckeyes.

OSU jumped out to an early lead, going on a 7-0 run within the first four minutes to put the Boilers in a hole. Purdue began to claw back, but OSU extended its lead to 12 points by the six-minute mark. 

The half featured very little action at the charity stripe. Senior forward Evan Boudreaux took and made the team's first free throws with less than a minute to play in the half, and OSU went 4-6 from the line.

Purdue returns to action at 7 p.m., Tuesday when it visits Wisconsin. The game will be broadcast by ESPN.

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