Purdue pulled off the upset over No. 15 Ohio State on Tuesday night, securing in the process its fourth consecutive win in dramatic fashion after freshman Jaden Ivey came to the rescue in crunch time. With the game tied, Ivey drilled a go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the key with 5 seconds remaining and the Boilermakers escaped with a 67-65 win.
Ivey's shot left Ohio State enough time to scramble for a shot on the other end to potentially force overtime, but Purdue smartly fouled on the other end before it had an opportunity to do so. By fouling, it forced the Buckeyes to the free-throw line where they could only inch to within a single point with two makes and hope for a quick turnover and score, or to miss the second free throw and hope for a rebound and quick score. Neither happened.
It was a close game throughout, but it wasn't so much back-and-forth as it was Ohio State (11-4, 5-4 Big Ten) narrowly clinging to a lead. The Buckeyes' lead ballooned to as many as 11, and they led for more than 35 minutes of game time, but they squandered opportunities to put it away while Purdue (11-5, 6-3) kept coming. Purdue retook the lead twice in the game's final five minutes, with the last one courtesy of Ivey serving as the difference.
Ivey came up big in the second half with 10 of his 15 points off the bench coming in the second half. Teammate Sasha Stefanovic also saved his best for last, with 13 of his 15 points on the night in the final 20 minutes. Stefanovic accounted for just five points in the final 10 minutes, but he hit one of the biggest shots of the game, drilling a top-of-the-key 3-pointer with 52 seconds to tie the game at 64.
A dramatic win -- and in come-from-behind fashion when it felt as if it was safe to count Purdue was out of it -- is in part a microcosm of its season to date. It dropped games to Iowa, Rutgers and Illinois in a four-game stretch during conference play, and it looked as if Purdue was dead in the water. But it has now come roaring back to life in spectacular fashion, with four straight wins in league play thrusting it squarely back into the mix as a tourney team.
As for Ohio State, it's a game it'll probably wind up regarding as a missed opportunity given it led for as long as it did -- and on its home court. But it got crushed in the lane by Purdue, and the combination of getting outscored 36-8 in the paint, getting outrebounded 38-30 and surrendering a big scoring half in the final 20 minutes was enough to do them in.