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March 4, 2008

Ohio State surprises No. 15 Purdue

COLUMBUS, Ohio Othello Hunter, one of Ohio State's worst free throw shooters, hit two foul shots and made a big defensive play down the stretch as the Buckeyes upset No. 15 Purdue 80-77 on Tuesday night.

The loss dropped the Boilermakers (23-7, 14-3), one-half game behind first-place Wisconsin in the Big Ten. The 10th-ranked Badgers host Penn State on Wednesday and Northwestern on Sunday. The Boilermakers finish at Michigan on Sunday.

Jamar Butler scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half for Ohio State (18-12, 9-8), which ended a four-game losing streak and may have revived its flagging hopes for an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament.

Hunter, averaging 9.3 points a game, had 15, as did Evan Turner.

E'Twaun Moore had 16 points for the Boilermakers, who had won 13 of 14, while Scott Martin had 14 and Robbie Hummel added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Martin's 3 with 3:14 left brought the Buckeyes with 62-58. Turner, who scored all of his points in the second half, beat his man baseline for a layup. After a Purdue turnover, Matt Terwilliger hit a 12-foot baseline jumper to tie it at 62.

Butler made two free throws with 49.5 seconds left, but Moore tied it again with two of his own with 32.2 seconds remaining.

The Buckeyes set up for a last shot but never got it. Turner drove the lane and drew multiple defenders, but his pass was intercepted by Hummel with a second left.

In the overtime, the Buckeyes built a three-point lead only to have the Boilermakers pull even on a 3 by Moore.

With 1:28 left, Hunter was fouled on a dunk attempt and the 56 percent free throw shooter hit them both for a 74-72 lead.

Hunter then got a hand on an inbounds pass under the Purdue basket that Butler was able to intercept.

The teams traded possessions until Turner hit a leaner with 25.8 seconds left to put Ohio State ahead 76-72.

Hummel countered with a 3 to cut the gap to a point, but Butler - one of the nation's top free throw shooters at 93 percent - was fouled and hit both with 16.7 seconds left for a 78-75 lead.

Moore missed a wild 3 with 12 seconds left and Turner rebounded and was fouled. He hit both shots to seal it and drop Purdue to 5-5 on the road.

The start of the second half was delayed 20 minutes because the shot clocks lost power.

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