Unranked Ohio State flusters Zach Edey, upends No. 2 Purdue days after firing head coach Chris Holtmann

Roddy Gayle Jr. and Ohio State picked up an upset win on Sunday four days after head coach Chris Holtmann was fired. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Roddy Gayle Jr. and Ohio State picked up an upset win on Sunday four days after head coach Chris Holtmann was fired. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Ohio State flustered Zach Edey and converted Purdue turnovers into offense on Sunday in a 73-69 upset of the No. 2 Boilermakers.

The upset arrives just days after Ohio State fired head coach Chris Holtmann and replaced him with interim coach Jake Diebler. The loss was the third of the season for Purdue as it looks to lock up a Big Ten title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State attacks ball, Edey in the post

Edey was in control when he was able to attack the basket. But the Buckeyes repeatedly worked to deny him the ball and forced 13 Purdue turnovers while committing just six.

Edey committed six of those turnovers as smaller defenders repeatedly swiped at the ball down low when the 7-foot-4 center received an entry pass in the post. The turnovers frequently led to buckets on the other end for Ohio State. Purdue's normally potent perimeter offense, meanwhile, was limited to just nine points from beyond the 3-point arc.

Ohio State took a 35-30 lead into halftime and then opened up a 12-point edge early in the second half. The Buckeyes capped a 9-0 run to take a 50-38 lead in the second half by forcing a Purdue turnover then converting it into a Jamison Battle 3-pointer on the other end. Moments later, Zed Key stole the ball from Edey in the post to lead to a Dale Bonner transition layup for a 54-43 advantage.

Purdue led by as many as eight points in the first half, then rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second to tie the game at 65-65 in the final two minutes. But Ohio State finished the game on an 8-4 run to secure the upset.

Edey's offense not enough

Edey was dominant when he was able to hoist a shot, finishing with 22 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks on a 7-of-11 effort from the field. Braden Smith (12 points, seven assists, five rebounds), Trey Kaufman-Renn (12 points) and Lance Jones (13 points, four rebounds) also scored in double figures for Purdue.

But a Purdue team that entered Sunday shooting 40.3% on 8.6 made 3-point attempts per game shot just 3 of 9 from long distance against Ohio State. The limited long-distance shooting combined with the turnover disadvantage proved too much for Purdue to overcome as it fell to 12-3 in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers maintain a 1.5-game lead over second-place Illinois (10-4) in conference play.

Bruce Thornton led the Ohio State effort with 22 points, four rebounds and three assists. Battle added 19 points while shooting 3 of 5 from long distance. Key picked up nine points and five steals off the bench. The 6-8 senior was frequently tasked with challenging Edey in the post, and his defensive efforts helped spark the Ohio State upset.

Ohio State picks up the win in Diebler's first game leading the Buckeyes sideline. Ohio State fired Holtmann on Wednesday six-plus seasons into his tenure as head coach. The Buckeyes started 4-10 in Big Ten play and lost nine of their previous 11 games before Sunday's win over Purdue. Diebler took over as interim coach after working as Holtmann's associate head coach.