WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Senior Brittany Johnson hit five second-half three-pointers, including the game winner with 0.7 seconds remaining, to give Ohio State a thrilling come-from-behind win over Purdue, 76-74, Sunday at a raucous Mackey Arena.
Trailing by one with 14 seconds left, Jantel Lavender caught the ball on the post and looked to score. Fending off a double team, Lavender pivoted to the baseline and slung a pass out to a wide open Johnson in the corner who buried the three as the Ohio State bench erupted.
Purdue led by as much as 11 points in the second half as the Buckeyes slowly chipped away at the Boilermakers lead. Samantha Prahalis gave Ohio State its first lead of the second half with a three-pointer from the left wing with 44 seconds left. Then after a Purdue timeout, Antionette Howard drove the lane and converted a layup with 21 seconds left to put the Boilers back on top, 74-73. Then after Ohio State burned its final timeout, Johnson saved the day with her trey from the corner.
Lavender led the Buckeyes with 23 points and nine rebounds. Prahalis added 19 points and four assists while Johnson finished with 15 and Tayler Hill 12. Freshman Ashley Adams recorded a career-high seven blocked shots to go along with four points and six boards.
With Purdue leading 38-31 at the half, Ohio State opened the second period on a 9-2 run over the first 5 minutes to tie the score at 40. However, a Drey Mingo layup on Purdue’s next possession sparked a 12-3 run by the Boilermakers before Hill stopped the bleeding with her first three of the night.
Behind a three-pointer by Purdue’s Courtney Moses and the inside play of Drey Mingo in the second half, the Boilermakers pushed their lead back to 10 on two occasions before Johnson caught fire, hitting three 3-pointers over the next four minutes to cut the lead to two and put Ohio State in position to pull out the win in the final minutes.
The win gives Ohio State (17-9, 8-6 Big Ten) its fourth in a row, moving itself into a tie for fifth in the Big Ten with Iowa at 8-6. Wisconsin and Michigan are a game ahead and tied for third in the conference standings at 9-5.
Mingo led Purdue with 25 points, including 14 in the second half, while Brittany Rayburn finished with 14 and Moses 11.
The last five meetings between the Buckeyes and Boilermakers at Mackey Arena have been decided by a combined 10 points. Last season, Purdue pulled out a 63-61 win as Ohio State failed to force overtime in the final seconds.
Ohio State is back in action Thursday at No. 10 Michigan State at 6:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network. The Spartans will be trying to clinch the regular season title outright after clinching a tie with a win over Illinois Sunday.