COLUMBUS, Ohio - After a season of nothing going right, Ohio State could do no wrong for one night. The Buckeyes put things together just in time to knock Purdue out of the Big Ten lead.
Jamar Butler scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half and Othello Hunter, a 56 percent free throw shooter, hit two foul shots and made a big defensive play in overtime to lead the Buckeyes to an 80-77 victory over No. 15 Purdue 80-77 on Tuesday.
The loss dropped the Boilermakers (23-7, 14-3), a half game behind first-place Wisconsin in the Big Ten. The 10th-ranked Badgers host Penn State on Wednesday and Northwestern on Sunday. The Boilermakers finish at Michigan on Sunday.
"It's frustrating, but it's one game," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "We controlled our own destiny, and now we don't."
The Buckeyes (18-12, 9-8), who lost their last four — all winnable games — with a series of mishaps, finally made all the right moves.
"It feels good. It feels like some things finally went our way for once," Butler said. "All season it seemed like we were always on the other end. We just couldn't make the plays down the stretch. Today we stepped up and made big plays toward the end of the game and came away with a win."
In other games involving ranked teams on Tuesday, it was: No. 1 North Carolina 90, Florida State 77; No. 9 Texas 70, Nebraska 66; and No. 21 Marquette 67, Florida Gulf Coast 37.
Butler missed his only shot in the first half and had two points. In the second half, he was 6-of-7 from the field and made all five of his 3-point attempts.
"If you let someone like Jamar Butler shoot a couple of 3s you can actually play good defense on him and he's still going to hit some shots," Painter said.
Hunter, averaging 9.3 points a game, had 15, as did Evan Turner.
E'Twaun Moore had 16 points for the Boilermakers, who had won 13 of 14, while Scott Martin had 14 and Robbie Hummel added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
With the score tied at 72 and 1:28 left in overtime, Hunter was fouled on a dunk attempt. He had hit three of six free throws for the game, but stepped to the line and made both foul shots.
He then got a hand on an inbounds pass under the Purdue basket that Butler was able to intercept.
The teams traded possessions until Turner hit a leaner with 25.8 seconds left to put Ohio State ahead 76-72.
Hummel's 3 cut the gap to a point, but Butler — one of the nation's top free throw shooters at 93 percent — was fouled and hit both with 16.7 seconds left for a 78-75 lead.
Moore missed a wild 3 with 12 seconds left and Turner rebounded and was fouled. He hit both shots to seal it and drop Purdue to 5-5 on the road.
"When I got into the game, the look in our eyes, I just knew we were going to come in and win," Turner said.
No. 1 North Carolina 90, Florida St. 77
Tyler Hansbrough had 20 points and Ty Lawson added 10 in 20 minutes in his first home game in a month for the Tar Heels (28-2, 13-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their seventh straight. Lawson returned Saturday after missing six games with a sprained left ankle.
Jason Rich had 27 points for the Seminoles (17-13, 6-9), who have lost eight straight and 19 of 22 in the series with North Carolina.
No. 9 Texas 70, Nebraska 66
D.J. Augustin scored 22 points and the Longhorns (25-5, 12-3 Big 12) went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final minute. A.J. Abrams hit a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left to break a 61-61 tie. Texas was coming off an 83-80 loss at Texas Tech that ended an eight-game winning streak.
Aleks Maric had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the visiting Cornhuskers (17-11, 6-9).
No. 21 Marquette 67, Florida Gulf Coast 37
Lazar Hayward had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (22-7), who came up with their second-best defensive effort in the nine seasons under coach Tom Crean. Marquette held Illinois State to 32 points during the 2004-05 season.
Adam Liddell, Casey Wohlleb, Terike Barrowes, Rob Quaintance and Roman Narmbaye all scored six points for the visiting Eagles (10-21), who completed their first season in Division I and the first losing season in school history.