WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- It's time to stop calling Star Allen's big games a surprise.
The sophomore forward had career-highs of 21 points and 13 rebounds as Ohio State (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today; No. 5 AP) beat Purdue (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today; No. 10 AP) 64-55 on Monday night to take sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
Allen went into the Purdue game scoring nine points per contest this season, but she had averaged 15 points in the four games leading to Monday's showdown.
Ohio State coach Jim Foster believes Allen will only get better.
"We view it as an arrival," Foster said. "We know how good she is. We think she's just scratching the surface in some respects. When she realizes how good she is, it's going to be scary."
With Purdue focused on stopping 6-foot-5 center Jessica Davenport inside, Allen made 10 of 12 field goals, many on mid-range jumpers. She's shooting 75 percent from the field the past five games.
"I'm a lot more confident because I can take the shot and it will just go in," Allen said.
It was the only meeting scheduled between the rivals this season. Ohio State won its 12th straight game while holding the Boilermakers to 36 percent shooting and outrebounding them 41-30.
It was the first home loss for Purdue, which moved into the Top Ten earlier in the day.
Marscilla Packer scored 13 points and Davenport added 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Buckeyes (19-1, 8-0).
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton had 13 points and eight rebounds and Katie Gearlds added 12 points for the Boilermakers (19-4, 8-1).
Gearlds, the second-leading scorer in the Big Ten, shot 3 for 15 from the field.
"I just thought that we knew where she was and we made her work for everything that she got," Foster said.
Purdue led the entire second half until Davenport scored in close to give the Buckeyes a 44-42 lead with 9:47 left. Ohio State extended the lead to 51-45 on a reverse layup by Brandie Hoskins with 6 minutes remaining. The Buckeyes took the lead to double figures in the final 2 minutes.
Purdue led 31-30 in the closing seconds of the first half. Purdue's Erin Lawless missed a 3-pointer, but Lakisha Freeman caught the ball in midair and banked it in as time expired in the first half to give Purdue a 33-30 lead.
The Boilermakers held Davenport to four points in the first half. The Buckeyes shot 56 percent from the floor, but committed 15 turnovers. Purdue countered Ohio State's hot shooting my making six 3-pointers in the first half.
Ohio State regrouped and committed just three turnovers in the second half.
"In the first half, I thought we were casual with the ball and dribbling too much, and not constructive dribbles," Foster said. "Second half, when we put the ball on the floor, there was a purpose."
Purdue made 6 of 11 3-pointers in the first half, but missed all nine attempts in the second half. The Boilermakers shot 25 percent from the floor after halftime.
"We just needed to share the basketball better," Versyp said. "I thought we took a lot of quick shots, and I don't think we did a good job of attacking the basket."
Wisdom-Hylton said the loss stings, but the Boilermakers still hope to recover and win the Big Ten regular-season or tournament title.
"We can't get this game back, but both of us have a long way to go," she said. "It's a tough road ahead for both teams. This is not the end of the world. Hopefully, we'll see them in Indianapolis in the Big Ten tournament."