INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — LaQuinton Ross scored 19 points and Aaron Craft finished with 16 on Thursday, helping No. 24 Ohio State hang on for a 63-61 victory over Purdue in the Big Ten tournament.
The win sent the defending tourney champs into Friday’s quarterfinals against fourth-seeded Nebraska.
Purdue (15-17) didn’t make it easy on the fifth-seeded Buckeyes.
A.J. Hammons finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, while senior Terone Johnson finished with 10 for the 12th seeded Boilermakers, who were eliminated after a seventh straight loss.
The Boilermakers stayed closer than expected, trailing just 30-27 at halftime. They led much of the second half and still had a chance to win it at the end.
Ohio State (24-8) seemingly had control after a 12-3 run gave it a late 59-54 lead with 3:24 left. But after the Buckeyes missed two free throws in the final 15 seconds, Johnson’s buzzer-beating 3 came up short.