Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half as the Buckeyes pulled away from the visiting Boilermakers and climbed back above .500 in the Big Ten.
LaQuinton Ross scored a game-high 17 points for Ohio State (19-5, 6-5 Big Ten), which has won three straight after dropping five of six. Amir Williams contributed nine points, five rebounds and three blocks for the Buckeyes.
Kendall Stephens scored 12 points off the bench and Rapheal Davis added 11 on 5-of-5 shooting in a reserve role as Purdue (14-10, 4-7) fell for the fifth time in six games. A.J. Hammons recorded 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for the Boilermakers.
Purdue pulled to within 48-45 on Terone Johnson's 3-pointer with just over nine minutes left before Ohio State turned up the defense. Smith knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and the Buckeyes held the Boilermakers to one field goal over the next six minutes to spread the lead out to 60-47.
Ohio State led by as much as nine points in the first half but settled for a 31-25 lead at the break. It was a 10-point advantage with 13 minutes left before a 9-2 run capped by Johnson's 3-pointer brought Purdue back into the game.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The Boilermakers' 49 points came in under the previous season low set in a 69-54 loss to Washington State on Nov. 29. ... Purdue entered the contest last in the Big Ten in free-throw percentage and went 2-for-5 from the line. ... Ohio State G Aaron Craft (646) recorded four assists to pass former Michigan State G Scott Skiles (645) for seventh on the all-time Big Ten list.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun