After just one day off to regroup from a double-digit loss at Nebraska, Purdue visited Ohio and produced a 69-51 nonconference victory Tuesday night in Athens, Ohio.
Sophomore guard Eric Hunter scored a career-high 18 points to pace the Boilermakers (7-4) while sophomore center Trevion Williams contributed 14 points and junior guard Nojel Eastern added a season-high 11.
Purdue, which built a 20-point halftime lead, only to watch it drop to six midway through the second half, played without junior center Matt Haarms. The Boilermakers’ No. 2 scorer (10.8 points per game) suffered a concussion late in Sunday’s loss at Nebraska.
Fifth-year senior guard Jordan Dartis posted 16 points for Ohio (7-4), which hosted a Big Ten opponent for the first time since Dec. 8, 2001. Redshirt freshman center Nate Springs scored a career-high 12 points off the bench — all on 3-pointers.
Sophomore point guard Jason Preston, ranked in the top five nationally with 8.6 assists per game, handed out five assists but also committed five turnovers. He added six points and 10 rebounds while playing all but the final 17 seconds.
Ohio took a 5-2 lead in the opening two minutes on sophomore power forward Ben Vander Plas’ 3-pointer and graduate transfer Sylvester Ogbonda’s layup, but Purdue soon asserted control as the Boilermakers forced six turnovers in a five-minute stretch and turned several of them into baskets.
When graduate transfer guard Jahaad Proctor (12 points) hit two 3-pointers and Hunter added a third in a four-possession stretch, Purdue owned an 18-7 lead with 10:40 left in the half.
Hunter swished his third 3-pointer of the half with 3:20 left to boost Purdue’s margin to 33-17.
The Boilermakers built a 37-17 halftime lead as they finished on their second 12-0 run of the half. Hunter led all scorers with 11 points and guarded Preston most of the half — limiting him to two points on 1 of 6 shooting and forcing 3 turnovers.
Purdue maintained its 20-point lead for the first five minutes of the second half, but Dartis converted a 4-point play to trigger a 15-2 Ohio spree. Springs canned a 3-pointer, then fed freshman guard Lunden McDay (10 points) and Dartis for 3-pointers to close the gap to 45-38 with 12 minutes to play.
The Bobcats pulled as close as 47-41 on yet another Dartis 3-pointer, but Purdue soon restored its double-digit lead as Hunter hit his fourth 3-pointer and Eastern controlled the paint for five points on a free throw, reverse layup and roaring dunk.
—Field Level Media