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No. 24 Ohio State holds off Purdue 63-61

AP - Sports
No. 24 Ohio State holds off Purdue 63-61
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Ohio State guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., right, drives the ball against Purdue center A.J. Hammons (20) in …

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- LaQuinton Ross scored 19 points and Aaron Craft finished with 16 on Thursday, helping No. 24 Ohio State hang on for a 63-61 victory over Purdue in the Big Ten tournament.

The win sent the defending tourney champs into Friday's quarterfinals against fourth-seeded Nebraska.

Purdue (15-17) didn't make it easy on the fifth-seeded Buckeyes.

A.J. Hammons finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, while senior Terone Johnson finished with 10 for the 12th seeded Boilermakers, who were eliminated after a seventh straight loss.

The Boilermakers stayed closer than expected, trailing just 30-27 at halftime. They led much of the second half and still had a chance to win it at the end.

Ohio State (24-8) seemingly had control after a 12-3 run gave it a late 59-54 lead with 3:24 left. But after the Buckeyes missed two free throws in the final 15 seconds, Johnson's buzzer-beating 3 came up short.

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