Purdue knocks off No. 9 Ohio State 71-60 in Big Ten semis

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Purdue's recipe for an upset in the Big Ten Tournament was simple: exploit a few holes in Ohio State's game, then make some free throws.

Ashley Morrissette helped the Boilermakers do both, getting 24 points and seven assists as Purdue beat the ninth-ranked Buckeyes 71-60 on Saturday to advance to the Big Ten Tournament championship game. Purdue will face No. 4 Maryland in the finale Sunday.

"Ohio State is an exceptional basketball team," Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. "Our players just did a great job of executing our game plan defensively, and offensively, we tried to control the tempo as much as possible. This is obviously a big one for us, getting to the (tournament) finals.

"And, um, our free throws were exceptional today."

The game was essentially decided at the foul line. Purdue shot 91 percent (21 of 23) compared to 46 percent by Ohio State (7 of 15).

The Boilermakers (21-11, 10-6) were also helped by the Buckeyes' 34.2 percent shooting, including 3 of 23 from 3-point range. Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said Purdue "really bothered us" with its zone defense.

"We didn't hit many shots," McGuff said. "And part of that had to do with their defense. They were really effective."

Purdue grabbed 31 defensive rebounds to Ohio State's 21 offensive rebounds, and also hit 8 of 11 from deep at the other end.

"We believe in each other," Morrissette said. "We have great team chemistry. We've been through some tough losses to ranked teams and we pretty much said, 'we're not losing again.'"

The Boilermakers and the Buckeyes were tied 11 times in the first half, but the Boilermakers made two 3-pointers during the final minute before the break to get a five-point lead. Purdue opened the third quarter with a 5-0 run and rolled from there.

"I think one of the keys to the game, too, was we didn't play well from behind," McGuff said. "Once they got a lead, we seemed to get out of doing the things that we've done all year and allowed us to be very efficient on offense, and we were rushing shots and taking quick, contested shots instead of just showing a little more patience and a little more trust in the execution."

Dominique Oden scored 20 points and Bridget Perry finished with 11 for the Boilermakers, who were never seriously threatened in the second half.

Shayla Cooper had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Linnae Harper had 12 points for Ohio State (26-5, 15-1).


Purdue's last loss came on Feb. 11 to Penn State. The Boilermakers can win their 10th Big Ten Conference Tournament on Sunday.

Ohio State will wait until after the conference tournament concludes to learn its seeding in the NCAA Tournament.


Ohio State: Next plays in the NCAA Tournament.

Purdue: Plays on Sunday against No. 4 Maryland in the championship game.

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