Sullinger leads balanced attack as OSU downs PurdueMar 10, 2012 - 5:51 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Jared Sullinger led five players in double figures with 30 points, and also pulled down 12 rebounds as No. 7 Ohio State put away Purdue, 88-71, in Big Ten quarterfinal action.
Deshaun Thomas totaled 22 points for the Buckeyes (26-6), who will face Michigan in the semifinals on Saturday. Lenzelle Smith Jr. and William Buford added 11 points while Aaron Craft posted 10 points with seven assists.
"I think we eventually locked down on our defense," Buford said. "Cooled down and used the pick-and-roll, stopped letting them get to the basket. We just played together. We have five guys connected on defense. When we do that, it's pretty tough to score against us, just let us get our run, let our defense lead our offense."
D.J. Byrd led the way with 20 points for the Boilermakers (21-12), who topped Nebraska on Thursday and now await the decision of the NCAA Tournament selection committee. Terone Johnson scored 15 points and Lewis Jackson added 10 with 10 assists in a losing cause.
"I'll probably look tomorrow, trying to start figure things out," Jackson said of the hopeful at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. "But honestly, once you get in, that's all that matters. So this team just has to be ready to play wherever they send us and just know that we can do something special."
Byrd connected from long distance with 7:25 remaining to pull Purdue within 62-59, but Ohio State cruised to victory thanks to a monster 17-2 run over the next four minutes.
Buford started the run with a three-point play, Thomas and Sullinger followed with easy buckets and Buford added another hoop plus a foul shot for a 72-61 game. He added a trey before Thomas capped the surge with consecutive buckets to make it 79-61 with 3:46 to play.
The Boilermakers were reduced to throwing up long-range shots for the remainder of the contest, to no avail.
Ohio State reeled off the first nine points of the game, and led 13-3 at the five-minute mark.
Ryne Smith sank a shot from beyond the arc to cap a 9-2 burst and get Purdue back to 19-18, but OSU responded with a 12-6 run for a 31-24 lead after Lenzelle Smith finished off a three-point play.
Ryne Smith hit another triple with a minute left in the half to once again shrink the Boilermakers' deficit to a single point, but Sullinger countered and the Buckeyes hit the break ahead 40-36.
The Buckeyes improved to 15-4 under Thad Matta in the Big Ten Tournament...Ohio State dominated in the paint, claiming a 48-18 advantage...Byrd finished 4-of-10 from beyond the arc...Ryne Smith ended with nine points, all thanks to a trio of triples...Sullinger led all players with three blocks.
- PURDUE: 71
OHIO STATE: 88
Mar 9 11:08 PM
- PURDUE: 36
OHIO STATE: 40
Mar 9 10:03 PM
- PURDUE: 0
OHIO STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 9 9:21 PM
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