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Feb. 22, 2003

Recap| Box Score| Notes

Ohio State head coach Jim O’Brien
On Ohio State’s defense
“We spent three days of practice trying to work on how to prevent their (Purdue) dribble penetration. Purdue had a tremendous advantage in the backcourt with their quickness. We did a great job cutting down their gaps and changing our defense on the fly.”

On Win
“We beat a ranked team. It keeps us somewhat in the hunt. I keep telling our guys that we have the ability to win out but we have to keep approaching our season one game at a time. We are a 12-11 team and the crowd was really into it and that was a big factor for us. If the crowd comes out for the next two games, I believe we can win both of them.”

On Brent Darby and Sean Connolly
“We have to make plays for a chance to win. Brent’s coast to coast and Sean’s diving save are huge plays for us. It was tough for Brent to face 10 guys the whole game from baseline to baseline. Then he stepped up and made his free throws, that was key. Sean’s body was as lively as it has been all year without question and Purdue started the game in zone which helped him to get open early to attempt his threes.”

Purdue head coach Gene Keady
“We just couldn’t make shots today and our 17 turnovers didn’t help. We tried to get the ball inside but they (two centers) had nine turnovers. We have to cut those down.”

“We have been practicing our zone defense for a few weeks and decided to come out a play that against them. They (Ohio State) did a job against it and Connolly was staying open. He is a guy you can’t leave open.” “We need to be patient down the stretch. We are not a spectacular team. We are an average team who needs to play hard.”

Ohio State freshman forward Matt Sylvester
On the win:
“We really needed a win. Before today’s game, we hadn’t been able to capitalize on our opportunities, but we came out today and played a great game. It was a real big win. We got Columbus back behind us today.”

On beating a ranked opponent:
“(Purdue) is ranked No. 24, so that really helps our RPI. Its important if we want a chance at the tournament to have wins over ranked teams like this. Our strength of schedule, with games against teams like Duke and Alabama, has been rough, so our RPI should be good.”

On the team’s defense:
“We played great defense today. Coach O’Brien changed up the defense all day and tried a lot of things and I think it confused (Purdue).

Ohio State senior guard Brent Darby
“We know we have to win out if we want any change at making the tournament. We have three games left and we’ll take them one game at a time. It feels good to get a ‘W,’ but there’s more games left to win, so we’re not too excited about this one.”

Ohio State senior guard Sean Connolly
On the win:
“It was a huge win for us. Our confidence was down after the Michigan game and we needed a win to get it back.”

On his performance:
“I had a real good rhythm, especially in the first half. I shot the ball real well today and I hope to keep it up over the next few games.”