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Terry Gilliam, Associated Press
Purdue's Lewis Jackson, left, goes to the basket as Ohio State's William Buford (44) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — William Buford scored a career-high 29 points and capped his night with a pivotal dunk in the final minute to power No. 3 Ohio State past hot-shooting Purdue 87-84 on Tuesday night.

The win was Ohio State's 40th in a row at home — since losing to Purdue two years ago at Value City Arena.

Buford scored 21 points in the second half to carry the Buckeyes (21-3, 9-2 Big Ten) while All-America Jared Sullinger and point guard Aaron Craft were on the bench with foul trouble. He scored seven straight points as Ohio State took the lead for good.

D.J. Byrd, averaging 6.5 points a game, had a career-best 24 for the Boilermakers (15-9, 5-6), while Kelsey Barlow and Lewis Jackson had 14 each and Robbie Hummel added 13.