Boilers no match for Buckeys!!
Written by Evan Williams
Boilers can’t keep up with Buckeyes, fall 88-72
After Ohio State started the game on a 13-3 run, it looked as if Purdue was going to get pummeled. The Boilers fought back and kept the game close for the majority of the contest, but could not hold off a late Buckeye run which led to their demise, 88-72 in the Quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Third-seeded Ohio State (26-6) will advance to the semifinals where they will face second-seeded Michigan. Purdue (21-12) will likely end up as either a dreaded 8 or 9 seed in the NCAA tournament with the loss.
After OSU’s big early lead, Purdue fought back and trimmed the lead after a couple of three pointers’ from D.J. Byrd. Purdue kept up with the Buckeyes for the rest of the half, going into the intermission down 40-36. The game was determined in the second half as Purdue failed to get leading scorer Robbie Hummel involved, and the Buckeyes dominated the Boilers in the paint. Hummel only scored six points on 2-8 shooting on the night. Purdue was also at a big disadvantage down low as they couldn’t stop Jared Sullinger as he went for 30 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks. Fort Wayne native Deshaun Thomas added 22 points and seven rebounds for the Buckeyes who out-rebounded Purdue 39-28. OSU put three other players in double figures as well.
Purdue didn’t go down without a fight as they trimmed the Buckeye lead to 62-59, but that was the last time Purdue was in the game. A couple of three point plays by the Buckeyes and some put backs pushed OSU’s lead to 14 and the rest was history.
D.J. Byrd led Purdue on the night with 20 points and Terone Johnson continued his outstanding play recently with 15 points. Lewis Jackson put up a quiet double-double with 10 points and a season high 10 assists.
Coach Matt Painter was given a technical foul after arguing with referees about a no call after OSU’s Aaron Craft wrapped up a Purdue player for the multiple times during the game. I fully support Painter making this plea to the officials. While Craft is a great defender, he’s a dirty player and I feel gets the benefit of the doubt a lot of times because of who he is. Besides Craft’s regular dirty tactics, Sullinger also continued his act of complaining every time he is touched and gets most of the calls to go his way. If Purdue players cried to the officials as much as Baby Sully did, maybe more calls would go their way.
Purdue played well for most of the game, but the inside game is what killed them. Purdue always has a rough time playing a team with a good inside presence due to the lack of theirs. I’ve really been encouraged by Purdue’s play as of recent, but if the Boilers run into a good inside team in the tournament it could be a setup for failure. I also feel that Purdue can’t be successful if they don’t get Robbie Hummel more involved. You can’t expect to win when your best player only attempts eight shots on the night. I do think this is a Purdue team that can make a run in the tournament, if they get a favorable draw. As of now, Purdue is likely an 8 or 9 seed which wouldn’t be the best for the Boilers as they would face a 1 seed in the second round. I really hope Purdue can make a run, Robbie Hummel and the other seniors deserve it. They were part of the group that led to the resurgence of Purdue basketball, and the program wouldn’t be where it is without them.