As the Purdue men’s basketball team nears the end of its regular season every game becomes increasingly important -- in some ways, more important than most pre-season watchers could have imagined. So with the added intensity of the last home game of the season and the annual Senior Day, the intensity in Mackey Arena might have been at a season high Saturday.
The Boilermakers responded by routing the visiting Ohio State Buckeyes -- the last team to beat Purdue at home -- 86-51.
Purdue came bursting out of the gates to a ten-point lead and continued to pour it on the entire game. This year's squad also becomes just the third team in school history to not lose a single game at home in a season.
As their offense thrived, their defense rose to match it. They allowed Ohio State to shoot only 33% from the field and 11% from three point range. They forced 9 turnovers and outrebounded the Buckeyes by 12 as well.
Carsen Edwards led the Boilers with 25 points and did not have to play the last third of regulation. At halftime OSU had 20 points and Edwards had 19 by himself. It was part of a phenominal shooting night, with the home team hitting 56% of its shot attempts and 52% of three-point tries.
Seniors Grady Eifert and Ryan Cline were honored after the game as among one of the most winningest classes in school history, going 60-4 at home in their four years playing at Purdue.
With an Indiana upset win over Michigan State earlier in the day, Purdue now sits alone atop the Big Ten standings with two games left to play in the regular season. They will travel north to Minnesota this week and then finish the season at Northwestern, which has lost nine straight.