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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / May 28.
  • Bates-Diop’s Late Game Heroics Lift No. 14 Ohio State Past No. 3 Purdue

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    By SEAN BOCK

    Ohio State needed a Keita Bates-Diop tip-in with 2.8 seconds left to knock off No. 3 Purdue in West Lafayette on Wednesday night, the Boilermakers first loss in Mackey Arena since Nov. 14, 2016.

     

    With the win, the Buckeyes (21-5, 12-1 Big Ten) are now the conference leaders, surpassing No. 4 Michigan State and Purdue.

    “I would ask: what’d you have to drink?” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said after the game if someone would have told him his team would be at the top of the Big Ten at this point when he took over in June.

    Bates-Diop led his team with 18 points while Andre Wesson chipped in 13 points and helped capture their teams’ second win over a top-3 opponent this year.

    Purdue (23-3, 12-1) no longer has an unblemished conference record as they suffered its first loss since Nov. 23 at the hands of Western Kentucky at the Battle 4 Atlantis.

    While Bates-Diop is considered as the favorite for Big Ten Player of the Year along with Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Carsen Edwards showed why he should be in the conversation dropping a game and career-high 28 points for the Boilermakers and connecting on four of his seven three-point attempts.

    Isaac Haas and all 7-foot-2 of him gave Ohio State issues as he finished with 18 points on the night, but missed a turnaround jumper as time expired that would have won his team the game.

    The unsung hero of the night was Buckeye freshman Musa Jallow, who finished with 10 points and drained three of his four three-point tries. Jallow, who reclassified to the 2017 class in July, hadn’t scored in the last nine games but was the difference in this contest off the bench.

    Following its only conference loss on Jan. 25 at home against Penn State, the Buckeyes have won three straight games and are in fantastic position to win the Big Ten outright.

    ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has four Big Ten teams in his latest bracket – Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan – but that number could get to five or six due to the recent performances of Nebraska and Penn State.

    An Ohio State loss would have left the Buckeyes two games behind the Boilermakers and given Matt Painter’s squad a two-game lead. Instead, Holtmann’s group is in sole possession of the conference, and own the tiebreaker over Purdue.

    The Boilermakers, one of the top shooting teams in the country, weren’t their usual self on the offensive end especially down the stretch as Ohio State outscored them 13-5 in the final 5:13.

    Purdue will need to regroup quickly, as they head to East Lansing for its next matchup on Feb. 10 against Michigan State. The Buckeyes will be in action on the same day but will have it a little easier as they host Iowa in Columbus.

     

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