Greetings Hoops Fans! This is Dave Horning for Fan Podcast with a post-game review of the Ohio State Buckeyes stunning victory over the Purdue Boilermakers, the Buckeyes winning by the score of 64 to 63 in West Lafayette, Indiana.

All I can say is … “How ‘bout them Buckeyes!”

I am so proud to be a fan of this team – the Buckeyes just never quit, never gave up. The way this game played out reminded me of the way Muhammed Ali beat George Foreman in the Zaire in that great boxing match – the Rumble in the Jungle – the Buckeyes took some solid shots from Purdue and trailed by most of the game before putting on a 25-10 run at the end and stealing the victory away from Purdue. It was the basketball equivalent of the “Rope a Dope” strategy. At the beginning of the game, Ohio State missed its first 7 shots and failed to score in the first 5 minutes of the game. Give up? No way. With 10 minutes left in the game, Purdue held a 53 to 39 point lead, and I bet there were many Buckeye fans who thought it was over, turned off the TV, only to wake up this morning in disbelief that the Buckeyes won. The Buckeyes never gave up.

Let’s review the way the game ended. With about 2 minutes left, and Ohio State down by 3 points with only 10 seconds left on the shot clock, Buckeyes Coach Holtmann called a time out as the Buckeye offense looked disorganized. Coming out of the time-out, the ball went to CJ Jackson who drove down the lane and made a great fake – the announcer called it the YMCA fake – where you pick up your dribble, use your arms to show the ball going to the left, and then you step right and past the defender – exactly what CJ did and scored the basket – after it rolled around and around the rim for what seemed like an eternity before dropping through for two. Ohio State was now just down by one point. Ohio State 59 – Purdue 60.

On Purdue’s next possession, Vince Edwards misses a three –point shot and Jae’Sean Tate gets the defensive rebound. When Andre Wesson hits a 3 point shot – banking it high off the glass – Ohio State now has its first lead of the second half at 62 to 60 with 75 seconds left.

On Purdue’s next possession, Vince Edwards drives baseline, makes a basket and a foul is called on Keita Bates Diop – but this was a terrible call – Keita was backing up, giving ground – Vince Edwards was driving into Keita – there was no reach-in by Keita – terrible call by the ref. And, if it was a foul, Edwards should NOT have been given an NBA continuation – in fact Edwards was stepping back and away from the basket after the non-foul. Vince Edwards makes the free throw, Ohio State 62 – Purdue 63. Terrible call, but the Buckeyes would NOT give up!

Purdue has the lead and there are 50 seconds left – Ohio State can’t wait for the last shot – but when Andrew Dakich grabs the offensive rebound with 22 seconds left, now Ohio State has the chance to win the game at the end.

On the Buckeyes last possession, Jae’Sean Tate drives down the lane and uses his left hand to shoot in heavy traffic, but he misses long. The Purdue defenders were on the left side of the basket and were double or triple-teaming Jae’Sean, and when the shot went long, Keita Bates-Diop was there to grab the offensive rebound on the right side of the basket and tip it back in – Ohio State 64 – Purdue 63 with 2.8 seconds left.

Purdue throws the ball in long, but Haas misses his jump shot as time expires. BUCKEYES WIN !!

That final scoring play by Keita Bates-Diop – the tip-in basket with 2.8 seconds left – symbolizes the Purdue Boilermakers inability to use their height advantage to dominate rebounding. As was discussed in the pre-game, Purdue was out-rebounded by Rutgers by 37 to 25. In this game, Ohio State grabbed 6 offensive rebounds to Purdue’s 3 –and both teams finished the game with 32 rebounds.

This game was full of surprises:

(1) Purdue’s first offensive rebound came with 3 and a half minutes left in the game – it was one shot and done for the Boilermakers for most of the night.

(2) Andre Wesson makes 3 of 5 3-point shots and Musa Jallow makes 3 of 4 3-Point Shots – the rest of the team is 0 for 9.

(3) Purdue’s Vincent Edwards was held in check for most of the game by the GREAT defensive play of Keita Bates-Diop. I’m glad Purdue didn’t win in on that terrible call that allowed Edwards’ last points. Keita was just superb guarding Vince Edwards all night – Vince Edwards shot 3 of 12 from the field. Keita finished the game with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and the game winning basket, while playing strong defense the whole game.

(4) Keita Bates-Diop made the basket of the year at the 6 minute 53 second mark when he caught a pass in the paint with his back to the basket, and, while still hanging in the air, shot backwards into the hoop for two. I haven’t seen anyone attempt a backwards shot since my last neighborhood game of “horse”.

(5) When Kaleb Wesson picked up his 4th foul, and things looked the bleakest in the second half, Buckeyes Coach Holtmann went with a smaller lineup against Purdue – using 6 foot 6 Andre Wesson to guard the 7’2” Isaac Haas, along with Dakich, Tate, Bates-Diop, CJ Jackson and Musa Jallow mixing in – no Micah Potter, Kaleb Wesson or Kyle Young in the second part of the second half. Was this coaching genius by Holtmann or a necessity because of foul trouble?

(6) Ohio State got 18 points from its bench players compared to just ZERO – no points form Purdue’s bench.

And, finally, Surprise #7, it was great to watch Coach Holtmann showing some humor after the game was over when being interviewed by Andy Katz of the Big Ten Network. When asked how he would have reacted to someone telling him that the Buckeyes would beat Michigan State and Purdue, and be in first place in the Big Ten in mid-February, Chris responded: “I’d ask them what they’ve been drinking, and how much!”

My final comment is no surprise. Jae’Sean Tate plays with such intensity and passion, it is a pleasure to be a fan of his. He scored 10 points, had 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 4steals, and only 2 turnovers. The all-around team dynamo had another solid game.

Final Score: Ohio State 64 @Purdue 63

Coming up next for the Buckeyes: a HOME GAME this Saturday, February 10 at 6:00pm against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Let’s Fill Up the Schott!!

This is Dave Horning for Fan Podcast. “How ‘bout them Buckeyes!”