Sunday, February 24, 2002

Savovic, OSU hold their ground

Purdue left with little hope of postseason

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Boban Savovic, rebounding from one of the worst games of his career, led a first-half rally as No.19 Ohio State beat Purdue 77-66 on Saturday.

        The loss dropped the Boilermakers to 12-17 — the most losses in Gene Keady's 22 seasons as Purdue's coach.

        Ohio State (19-6, 10-4) remained a notch behind Indiana in the Big Ten race. The Hoosiers, 10-3 in the conference, play at Michigan State today.

        Savovic was 1-of-4 from the field and had seven points, three turnovers and no assists in 31 minutes as the Buckeyes lost 63-57 at No.24 Indiana in a battle of Big Ten co-leaders Wednesday.

        Savovic had 13 points, two assists and no turnovers in the first half against Purdue as the Buckeyes righted themselves from a lethargic start. He finished with 16 points.

        Brian Brown led the Buckeyes with 18 points, and Brent Darby scored 15 and Sean Connolly 11 for Ohio State, which came home after going 1-3 on the Buckeyes' longest Big Ten road trip since 1949.

        Purdue's Willie Deane, leading the Big Ten in scoring with 17.6 points a game, was limited to 12 points as he battled foul trouble most of the night. Darmetreis Kilgore scored 15 points, Rodney Smith 11 and Joe Marshall 10.

        Purdue (4-11 in the Big Ten) has lost six of its last seven and went winless in road Big Ten games (0-8) for the first time since 1966.

        Barring a run through the conference tournament and earning an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, this will be only the second time a Keady-coached Purdue team hasn't played in the NCAA or NIT tournament. His previous worst season — and the only other time the Boilermakers didn't make it into the postseason with him on the sidelines — was a 15-16 record in 1988-89.

        The Buckeyes missed their first five shots and also had two turnovers while remaining scoreless for the first four minutes. Purdue led 5-0 at the outset and was still ahead 28-21 after John Allison's short bank shot with 6:18 left in the first half.

        The Buckeyes, however, scored 15 of the half's final 19 points with Savovic leading the way with seven points.

        Savovic opened the surge with a layup and then hit two free throws to start a 10-0 run. He later added a 3-pointer.

        The Boilermakers went scoreless for more than five minutes, missing all six of their shots from the field with two turnovers.

        Brown hit one 3-pointer and Darby added two more as Ohio State opened up a 50-37 lead in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second half. The lead never dipped below nine points again.

        Ohio State improved to 15-1 at Value City Arena this season.
        PURDUE (12-17) — Deane 4-10 3-4 12, Buscher 1-2 0-0 2, Carroll 2-2 1-2 5, Allison 1-7 4-7 6, Kilgore 6-8 0-0 15, Parkinson 2-3 0-0 5, Lewis 0-2 0-0 0, Marshall 3-6 1-2 10, Smith 3-7 4-4 11, Garrity 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-47 13-19 66.

        OHIO ST. (19-6) — Williams 2-5 2-4 6, Radinovic 0-1 3-4 3, Darby 5-11 1-2 15, Brown 6-9 4-6 18, Savovic 5-13 2-2 16, Fuss-Cheatham 0-0 0-2 0, Connolly 3-5 2-2 11, Heflin 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Dials 3-4 2-2 8, Dudley 0-0 0-0 0, Martin 0-0 0-0 0, Marinchick 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-49 16-24 77.

        Halftime—Ohio St. 37, Purdue 33. 3-Point goals— Purdue 9-18 (Marshall 3-5, Kilgore 3-5, Deane 1-2, Parkinson 1-2, Smith 1-3, Buscher 0-1), Ohio St. 13-23 (Darby 4-8, Savovic 4-8, Connolly 3-4, Brown 2-2, Marinchick 0-1). Fouled out—Allison. Rebounds—Purdue 31 (Allison 6), Ohio St. 24 (Williams 5). Assists—Purdue 11 (Parkinson 5), Ohio St. 18 (Darby, Brown 5). Total fouls— Purdue 23, Ohio St. 16. Technicals—Smith, Williams. A— 19,200.


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