Observations: Tale Of Two Halves

My thoughts on a big 65-61 home win for the Buckeyes Ohio State.

What a weird game. Ohio State played sloppy, ugly basketball in the first half, but was plenty pretty late to get a 65-61 win over Purdue Sunday night. Here are my takeaways from game that moved the Buckeyes to 10-6 in conference play and a tie for fourth place in the league with Iowa and Michigan State.
  • Active Amir: Sure, six points, six rebounds and four fouls is not a phenomenal stat line, but I thought Amir Williams played his best game of the season and one of his best as a Buckeye. Yes, it is all relative, but the senior played with energy throughout the game and finished with three blocks while defending a pair of 7-footers all night. Not a great night, but he made a positive difference at times.

    Williams had a block in the game’s first two minutes. It showed me that he came to play and he showed the same energy for the rest of the night.

  • So many whistles: There was a foul more than once a minute. There were 41 fouls in the game and it made it a choppy, sloppy game to watch that only became enjoyable because of the close margin in the second half. The officiating was consistently inconsistent for both teams.
  • Threes under control in second half: Purdue is not a three-point shooting team. They attempt just over 17 a game but connect on just 5.5. Sunday they hit six in the first half, connecting on a scorching 54.5 percent before intermission. The Boilermakers were getting open looks as the buckeyes crashed down to help on the post game. The law of averages and the Ohio State defense caught up in the second half as Purdue hit just 2-of-7 threes in the second half and just one of their final six.
  • Kam was key: Kam Williams finished with just four points, but he logged 21 minutes and spelled D’Angelo Russell for defensive possessions as the star was struggling with fouls. The guard finished with three steals also and he nailed two key free throws to ice the game with four seconds left despite the fact he hadn’t attempted a shot from the field in the second half.
  • Free throw success: Speaking of Free throws, the Buckeyes shot 35 of them. They connected on a respectable 71.4 percent, including four of five down the stretch. That was a bit unexpected from a team that had struggled so much from the line this season with just two players averaging more than 70 percent from the line on the year.

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