College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, February 7, 2012
With their star player, Jared Sullinger, on the bench in the final minutes due to fouls and a late injury, senior William Buford stepped up and saved the game for #3 Ohio State as they held off a pesky Purdue squad, 87-84.
Buford, one of the best scorers ever to don a Buckeye uniform, will probably finish his four-year stint as #3 or #4 on the Ohio State career points list, picked the team up with a career high 29 points, scoring the seven points for the Buckeyes down the stretch, punctuating the win by tipping a loose ball ahead off a mad scramble in Purdue's end and taking the ball home with a thunderous dunk that put the Buckeyes ahead, 83-76, with 42 seconds left. Buford scored 21 in the second half, as the Buckeyes battled the Boilermakers from a 40-40 half time deadlock.
Buford was 10-for-17 from the field with three 3-pointers and was perfect at the line, making all six free throw attempts. He also led Ohio State with seven rebounds.
It was the second straight close call at home for Ohio State, which improved to 21-3 and 9-2 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes defeated Wisconsin, 58-52, this past Saturday. Ohio State leads 7-3 Michigan State by 1 1/2 games in the standings and will host the Spartans this Saturday in a crucial conference test.
NOTABLE: Top-ranked Kentucky extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 49 straight games with a 78-58 win over the Florida Gators. The game was close only for the first ten minutes. Once the Wildcats stretched their lead beyond ten points, they extended it with exceptional defense and a dunk display that kept the Gators at bay.
#17 Creighton lost its second straight game - both on the road - in a 65-57 loss to Evansville. The Bluejays dropped a 65-62 decision at Northern Iowa on Saturday.