Freshman JaQuan Lyle did his part in the first half to keep Ohio State in the game against Rutgers on Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio, with a double-double, even though the Buckeyes trailed by two.
His teammates finally got untracked in the second half, turning that two-point deficit into a 94-68 rout.
Lyle finished with a triple-double, getting 16 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and 11 assists — two off his best.
"He was the straw that stirred the drink tonight, no question about it," Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan said.
Lyle said the coaches made him aware when he re-entered the game with 6:44 to play that he was a few assists shy of the triple-double.
"The coaches told me I needed four more," he said. "The guys helped me out with finishing plays. I'm making shots, creating for my teammates. It's confidence from them. They believe in me."
Five other Buckeyes (12-6, 4-1 Big Ten) also were in double figures: Keita Bates-Diop, Jae'Sean Tate and Kam Williams had 14 apiece, Marc Loving 12 and Trevor Thompson 11.
Corey Sanders had 20 points, including 17 in the first half, for the Scarlet Knights (6-12, 0-5) who took a 41-39 halftime lead.
But the Buckeyes outscored the Scarlet Knights 55-27 in the second half, beginning with a 13-0 run at the onset.
"It wasn't a lot of X's and O's at halftime, it was more of challenging guys to do a better job of what we needed to do, especially on the defensive end," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.
Tate started the 13-0 run with two field goals in the lane.
"It definitely jump started us," Tate said. "We were getting so deep in the paint because we were at another level on the defensive end. We got a couple steals and turnovers and we got out in transition."
"Once they taste a little blood and a little letdown, they get after you," Jordan said.
No. 24 Purdue 74, Penn State 57: Vince Taylor scored 19 points to lead the Boilermakers (15-3, 3-2) over the visiting Nittany Lions (10-8, 1-4). Purdue outrebounded Penn State 42-25, and also had more steals (9-5) and more blocks (4-0). Brandon Taylor led the Nittany Lions, who trailed 38-25 by halftime, with 21 points.