E'Twaun Moore seemed to toy with Ohio State.
Whether he was knocking down one of his seven 3-pointers, making an acrobatic layup or draining a jumper in the closing seconds of the first half, the senior guard seemed at ease. He scored a career-high 38 points to help No. 11 Purdue beat No. 2 Ohio State, 76-63, at home Sunday.
“I know once he gets that rhythm going and steps back and hits a 3 and once he smiles, you know he has it going,” guard Lewis Jackson said. “E’Twaun, he may put his fingers up and tell you he hit a 3-pointer, but he rarely smiles. Once he smiles, he’s in a zone, and you probably won’t stop him that night.”
Purdue (22-5 overall, 11-3 Big Ten) has had much to smile about recently. The Boilermakers defeated No. 10 Wisconsin on Wednesday, and their two wins over Top 10 teams cut their conference deficit to one game behind the leading Buckeyes (25-2, 12-2) with four games to play.
Purdue’s win capped a week that saw the top four teams in the AP Top 25 lose for the first time since November 2003, after losses by No. 1 Kansas, No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Pittsburgh.
Ohio State coach Thad Matta knew his team was playing in a difficult stretch.
“We’ve got to continue to keep our focus,” he said. “Our guys know we have to play better basketball and we have to get them ready to do that.”
Ohio State center Jared Sullinger scored 25 points.
Moore, who made 13 of his 18 shots from the field, became the fifth player in Purdue history to surpass 2,000 career points.
At No. 5 Duke 79, Georgia Tech 57: Nolan Smith scored 28 points and the Blue Devils (25-2, 12-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) made their case to return to No. 1 with an easy win over the Yellow Jackets (11-15, 3-9).
At No. 10 Wisconsin 76, Penn State 66: Keaton Nankivil hit all five of his 3-point attempts, scoring 22 points to lead the Badgers (20-6, 10-4 Big Ten) past the Nittany Lions (14-12, 7-8).
No. 14 Florida 68, at LSU 61: Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton scored 17 points to lead the Gators (21-5, 10-2 Southeastern Conference) over the Tigers (10-17, 2-10).
At No. 23 Temple 66, Saint Joseph’s 52: Lavoy Allen had 12 rebounds, becoming Temple’s career leader with 1,045, and the Owls (21-5, 11-2 Atlantic 10) beat the rival Hawks (7-19, 2-10).
At California 76, UCLA 72 (OT): Jorge Gutierrez scored 34 points to lead the Golden Bears (14-13, 7-8 Pac-10) to an overtime win over the Bruins (19-8, 10-4) that snapped a four-game skid.
No. 3 Stanford 67, at No. 9 UCLA 53: Chiney Ogwumike scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half to rally the Cardinal (24-2, 15-0 Pacific-10 Conference) past the Bruins (22-3, 12-2).
Ogwumike also had 15 rebounds as Stanford extended its conference winning streak to 52 games.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike, the older sister of Chiney Ogwumike, missed the game because of a right ankle injury. She was on the bench encouraging her sister.
“Just play your normal game, she told me,” Chiney Ogwumike said.
At USC 80, California 67: Prairie High grad Ashley Corral scored 26 points, including 7-for-8 accuracy from 3-point range, to lead the Trojans (16-9, 8-6) past the Golden Bears (14-12, 6-9), who got 19 points from Lindsay Sherbert.
Sam Quigley scored 14 points to lead a balanced attack in No. 10 DePaul’s 82-57 win over No. 18 Georgetown in Chicago. Kalisha Keane scored 27 points for No. 11 Michigan State, which clinched a share of the Big Ten title with a 69-56 victory at Illinois. Reserves Chasity Clayton and Chelsea Davis combined for 26 points to lead No. 15 Florida State to a 72-66 victory over No. 16 Maryland in Tallahassee, Fla. Keyla Snowden scored 22 points, including four 3-pointers, to help No. 19 Kentucky take an 80-71 victory at Vanderbilt, its first win on the Commodores’ court in 25 years.