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BIG TEN CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT

Buckeyes roll past Purdue

March 11, 2007|From the Associated Press

Greg Oden put together a highlight package for NBA scouts and helped No. 1 Ohio State move to the finals of the Big Ten Conference tournament and a step closer to a top seeding in the NCAA tournament.

Oden had 17 points, a tournament-record 19 rebounds and four blocks Saturday, and the Buckeyes (29-3) pulled away from Purdue for a 63-52 victory at the United Center in Chicago.

Carl Landry scored 24 points for the Boilermakers (21-11), who managed only four baskets in the final 10 minutes -- three by Landry -- cooling off at the wrong time against the Buckeyes.

With Oden on the bench after getting his third foul midway through the second half, the Buckeyes got a driving layup from Jamar Butler after a Boilermakers turnover and then a three-point basket from Ron Lewis to take a 50-45 lead with 7:40 left.

Oden returned and blocked two shots to add to Purdue's struggle to score, and Lewis made two free throws to make the score 53-45 with 5:29 to go.

Landry broke a nearly five-minute Purdue scoring drought with a jump shot, but Mike Conley Jr. made a three-pointer from the corner to increase the Buckeyes' lead to nine.

Moments later, Oden went crashing through the lane high over Landry and David Teague to slam in a missed shot, giving Ohio State an 11-point lead and all but punctuating the victory -- the Buckeyes' 16th in a row.

Ohio State will play No. 3 Wisconsin for the tournament title today. The Badgers advanced by beating Illinois, 53-41.

Oden's 19 rebounds broke the previous single-game tournament record of 18 set by Iowa's Reggie Evans, who did it twice, in 2001 and 2002.

No. 3 Wisconsin 53, Illinois 41 -- Alando Tucker showed why he was voted the Big Ten's player of the year, setting the school's career scoring record and finishing with 21 points to lead the Badgers (29-4) past the Fighting Illini (23-11).

Tucker began the day with 2,146 points -- one shy of Michael Finley's mark -- and set the record on his first attempt.

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