Purdue falls to Texas A&M 55-100, then takes it out on Murray State
I'm not even going to do a write-up on the A&M game, it was so awful. We got blown out, we shot simply awful, Brittany got ejected, and worst of all were the 26 turnovers. Writing a piece on this game simply makes it harder to forget, and that is what we need to do with this game. There isn't much to learn here (don't turn it over and hit shots is not much of an insight). Even Courtney scoring 26 is not a highlight, when you consider her 7 TOs and the fact that no one else got above 6. The team clearly was not ready for this type of road trip, and I blame the loss of the Cancun trip. Instead of getting two easy games under our belt away from Mackey, we faced #17 and #7 in our first two away games. In short, this game never happened. Let's move on.
Yes, you read that right. We held the Racers to 25 points in 40 minutes. Realistically, though, it wasn't all us. We played excellent defense all night, forcing 28 TOs(18 steals), but even with a hand in their face, you expect the other team to do better than 12 percent shooting. I have never seen a team that cold from the field. Regardless, we played a good game and bounced back well from the A&M game. Ordinarily, I would criticize a lopsided margin like that, but in the shot clock era it is hard not to score 50-60, so we weren't running it up. They were just unspeakably cold.
Player of the Game:
Antionette Howard - 11 Points, 7 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 3 Steals
Antionette played a solid game in all phases today. She gets the nod for her rebounding and assists, but really there are 4 or 5 players who could be here. This was the definition of a team win, but Howard was the best part in the machine. She has emerged as a reliable 6thman, providing both rebounding help and scoring off the bench. There's a bit of a logjam at the 3/4 spots right now, otherwise she would likely be starting. On the other hand, Draymond Green has shown us how important a good 6thman is, so maybe we're better off with her here anyway. There is actually a fairly accurate comparison to be made between the two, both in play style and in position.
- I have no game balls today, mostly because I'd have to name about 5 players to get everyone who deserved it.
- 13 turnovers. That was huge after giving the ball away 73 times in the last three games. We proved to ourselves more than anyone that yes, we can keep the ball and yes, we can execute our offense.
- This was a big bounce-back game for Courtney, given her turnover woes in the last two games. She came up big in that department, posting a clean sheet in addition to her 8, 2 and 4 steals. Points are nice, but more important for her is taking care of the ball like she did tonight.
- Brittany was just a hair off today. I am actually more encouraged by that than concerned, because we still won in a blowout without her lighting it up. She did have eleven points, but something just didn't quite feel right, and her teammates stepped up and got it done.
- Team rebounding was good. Every player but Dee Dee had at least one board, and Alex Guyton tied for the lead with 7.
- Ashley Wilson looked like herself tonight. She is still not all the way back into form, and her conditioning is still behind the curve, but it was nice to see her pick up 11, especially on 4-5 shooting. She struggled from the line, but free throws will come as she gets back into the swing of things.
- Sam O showed a little Kramer today, going down hard her hip, only to get back up and stay in. Two possessions later, she hit the floor again. She played an excellent all-around game today, putting up 5 points, 4 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks.
- On the subject of blocks, it was nice to see us pick up 8 this game. I have often thought that we were a little too timid in challenging shots, but there was a definite aggressiveness tonight that is new. We're not built to swat a lot of shots, but the threat needs to be there. On a somewhat related note, it was entertaining to see 5-7 Courtney flat-out reject an inbounds pass under the basket.
In the end, this was a simply a mismatch, and we took care of business. We needed this after a tough 3-game slide, and it was good to see us rebound.