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Ohio makes 2nd-half run but falls to Purdue 69-51

Bobcats cut 20-point deficit to 6

ATHENS – Down by 20 points at halftime, Ohio made a big second-half run to get as close as six, but Purdue pulled away again and took a 69-51 victory Tuesday night at The Convo.

Coming back from an injury, Jordan Dartis led the Bobcats with 16 points, while Nate Springs made four 3-pointers and scored 12 points off the bench. Lunden McDay added 10 points in Ohio's first home game against a Big Ten opponent since Wisconsin came to visit in 2001.

A Dartis four-point play with 14:59 remaining began Ohio’s big run to get back in it, making it 43-27, and after an Evan Boudreaux layup, Springs connected from deep. Lunden McDay scored following an offensive rebound and then connected on a 3-pointer of his own to make it 45-35.

Dartis capped a 15-2 run with a 3-pointer, and Ohio (7-4) got even closer, 47-41, on another Dartis 3-pointer with 11:10 to go. The Boilermakers (7-4) were able to pull away down the stretch, however.

"We kind of flipped roles in the second half," Ohio coach Jeff Boals said. "I think we had four turnovers in the second half, made six threes as opposed to the first half. When you take care of the ball and make shots, the game is a little different. I was proud of our guy's effort in the second half out of halftime."

Down 7-6 early, Purdue took control with an 11-0 run to go ahead 18-7. It also closed the first half on a 12-0 run, with Ohio going scoreless for the final 6:25.

The Bobcats shot just 30.4% in the first half but bounced back to shoot 42.9% in the second half. The Boilermakers finished at 49.0% for the game.

"The crowd was super loud," Dartis said. "It just shows how tight this OU community is and everyone came out to support tonight. We don't get high-majors in the Convo very often, so I really appreciate our fan base."

They were led by Eric Hunter Jr. with 18 points, followed by Trevion Williams with 14. Jahaad Proctor and Nojel Eastern added 12 and 11, respectively.

Still short-handed because of injuries, Dartis, McDay, Jason Preston and Ben Vander Plas all played 37 or more minutes, with Sylvester Ogbonda and Springs sharing most of the remaining court time.

Ohio hosts Morehead State at 1 p.m. Saturday at The Convo.

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