WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Rebeka Mikulasikova scored 15 points, Cotie McMahon was two assists shy of a triple-double and No. 12 Ohio State held on to defeat Purdue 71-68 on Sunday.
The Buckeyes only trailed once, for 16 seconds early in the third quarter. Their biggest lead was nine after the first basket of the fourth quarter but they didn't secure their seventh straight win until the very end.
Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Thierry made a pair of free throws at 16 and 10 seconds, respectively, for a 71-65 lead. Abbey Ellis then drilled a 3-pointer for Purdue. After Ohio State's Celeste Taylor missed two free throws with six seconds to go, the Boilermakers, without a timeout, couldn't get a good final look.
Thierry had 14 points for the Buckeyes (17-3, 8-1 Big Ten Conference) and McMahon had 10 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Ohio State had 22 assists on 24 baskets.
Ellis scored 14 points for Purdue (9-11, 2-7). Rashunda Jones had 13 off the bench and Mary Ashley Stevenson had 12.
Ohio State didn't score a basket after Sheldon's layup made it 65-57 with 4:36 to play. Stevenson answered for Purdue 42 seconds later and the Boilermakers didn't score another basket until Ellis' 3 at seven seconds.
Thierry sandwiched a pair of layups around a 3-pointer by Taylor and the Buckeyes held the lead through the first half. But it was close, 20-19 after one quarter and 33-27 at the half after both teams were cold in the second. Ohio State was 4 of 12 and Purdue 3 of 12.
Both teams warmed up after the break. Ohio State was 8 of 14 with two 3s and Purdue 8 of 15 with three from distance and it was 53-46 entering the fourth quarter.
Purdue started the second half much the same way as Ohio State started the game with Ellis hitting a 3-pointer and a layup and Jones making a layup for a 34-33 lead. The Boilermakers never regained the lead but tied it twice before Madison Greene hit a 3-pointer and McMahon and Sheldon both made layups. Sheldon's deep 3 from the logo as the Purdue fans gave a fake clock countdown capped the quarter scoring.
Wisconsin is at Ohio State on Thursday, Purdue goes to Nebraska on Wednesday.
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