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Friday, March 9, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Ohio State 88, Purdue 71

By Myron Medcalf

INDIANAPOLIS -- Reaction from Ohio State's 88-71 win over Purdue in a Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game.

Overview: The last time Purdue and Ohio State faced off, the Boilermakers nearly pulled off the upset in Columbus before suffering an 87-84 loss Feb. 7. The two battled again Friday in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

It was a close game for most of the night until a late surge put the Buckeyes ahead for good.

The Buckeyes outscored the Boilermakers 26-11 in the final 7:01 of the game.

Five Buckeyes reached double figures. The team hit 61 percent of its shots and had a 35-23 advantage in the rebounding war. And now the Buckeyes will move on to play rival Michigan in Saturday’s semifinals.

Turning point: It was a 62-59 affair before William Buford completed a three-point play after drawing a foul on a bucket to put the Buckeyes ahead 65-59 with 7:01 on the clock. The sequence gave the Buckeyes a spark. They dominated the Boilermakers from that point.

Key player: Jared Sullinger had a monster outing with 30 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and three blocks.

Key stat: The Buckeyes outscored the Boilermakers 48-18 in the paint. All five starters scored 10 or more for Ohio State.

Miscellaneous: This Buckeyes team has Final Four talent. Once Ohio State’s offense started to roll in the final minutes of the game, it was clear that this team could end up in New Orleans. … D.J. Byrd led the Boilermakers with 20 points off the bench.

What’s next: The Buckeyes will play the Wolverines in Saturday’s semifinals. Purdue find out its NCAA tournament destination on Sunday.