COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – If this was a big test, then No. 1 Ohio State aced it.
William Buford had 19 points, Jared Sullinger added 17 and No. 1 Ohio State played almost flawlessly in rolling past No. 12 Purdue 87-64 on Tuesday night.
Jon Diebler had 13 points and a career-high eight rebounds, Deshaun Thomas added 13 points, David Lighty scored 10 points and Aaron Craft had 11 points and six assists for Ohio State (21-0, 8-0 Big Ten), which ran its record to 62-4 all-time when atop the polls.
The Buckeyes and No. 4 San Diego State (20-0) are the only unbeaten teams remaining in Division I.
JaJuan Johnson had 22 points for Purdue (17-4, 6-2).
Ohio State, which shot 55 percent from the field and hit 11 of 19 3-pointers, used an 11-0 first-half run to take control and never let up.
The victory puts the Buckeyes up by two games in the Big Ten. After several close calls in conference play, they had yet to really blow out a team. They chose a high-profile game against a quality opponent to do just that.
Ahead by 20 points at halftime after shooting 57 percent from the field and making 6 of 9 3-pointers, they kept it up even as Purdue turned up the pressure in the second half.
Late in the shot clock, with the Boilermakers scrambling to get back in the game, the 6-foot-9 Sullinger even tossed in a 3 to the delight of a near-capacity crowd of 17,556.
Another 3 by Buford and a power move inside by Sullinger swelled the lead to 61-36 after the opening 5 minutes of the second half. The Buckeyes led by as many as 31 points before substituting throughout the final 10 minutes.
About all Purdue had going for it was Johnson, who came in leading the Big Ten in scoring at 20.9 points a game. He had over half his team’s points midway through the second half.
E’Twaun Moore added 16 points for the Boilermakers.
The Buckeyes evened the all-time series at 82 wins apiece.
Ohio State dominated from the outset, building the lead to 22 points at one point in the opening half. They hit five of their first six 3-point attempts, running off 11 straight points over one 4-minute span.
Coach Matt Painter called three timeouts trying to stem the Ohio State tide in the opening 20 minutes, to no avail.
Following routine, Dallas Lauderdale started for the Buckeyes but was replaced by Craft at the first media timeout. From there to the end of the first half, the freshman was brilliant. He had nine points, five rebounds and four assists – although he did falter when he was knocked to the court on a layup with 6 seconds left. He didn’t leave the offensive end of the court as Purdue hurried down but failed to score.
Diebler hit two 3s, Buford hit two more and Thomas, another freshman, added to the surge with seven points.
The Buckeyes led 46-26 at halftime after shooting 57 percent from the field, including 6 of 9 on 3-pointers.
A small contingent of Purdue fans in one block high in the upper deck began a ”Let’s go, Boilers!” cheer late in the half, with their team down by 20. Ohio State’s fans responded by pointing to the scoreboard.
Before the game, the crowd was entertained by a video featuring the off-key singing of Craft, Diebler and Sullinger. The fans roared at the end, possibly out of relief that the song was over.