In an epic Big 10 battle Purdue managed to beat the odds and walk out of New Jersey with a victory. As famous New Jerseyite (or is it New Jersian) Bruce Springsteen said about The Garden State (an excellent movie in my opinion) "It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap", and that obviously extends to Rutgers basketball as well. Thankfully, Purdue proved that it was born to run tonight, coming back from an early 0-2 deficit to rally to a 107 - 57 win over the Scarlet Knights.
Purdue has a 4-way tie at the top of the box score with Vince Edwards, Caleb Swanigan, Dakota Mathias, and Jacquil Taylor pacing the Boilers with 12 points apiece. Swanigan lead the Boilermakers in rebounding with 13 and Johnny Hill and Vince Edwards each had 3 assists. Let's be honest here, this wasn't a fair fight. Rutgers came into the season terrible, and then suffered several injuries in their front court, moving them from just terrible to putrid. If you left a garbage can full of fish guts, dirty diapers, and dead raccoons in the Texas sun for a week, the smell produced is the only thing I can equate to how foul this Rutgers team truly is at the moment. Rutgers basketball makes Purdue football look palatable. There is literally nothing Purdue can take away from this game and can carry over to the next game, because Ohio State has competent basketball players.
Player of the Game: Jacquil Taylor - Taylor is going to be a good player for the Boilermakers, but it's going to be down the road a year or two. However, tonight he gave everyone a sneak preview of his abilities. Taylor played the majority of the second half, put up 12 points, 10 rebounds and even threw in an assist and a block to round out his stat sheet. He was 4-6 from the field and absolutely nailed two 3-pointers towards the end of the game. These weren't your run of the mill, set shot, big man 3-pointers, no sir, these were coming off screens, catching and pulling the trigger 3's. Rutgers may not have been playing much defense, but Taylor took those shots like he meant them, and they hit nothing but the bottom of the net. Caleb Swanigan was a close second for player-of-the-game with a 12-point 13-rebound performance, but this may be Taylor's only chance this season for this prestigious award, so he gets the nod over Biggie.
Play of the Game: Every now and then Purdue empties out the back side, swings the ball to Vince Edwards, and lets him take the ball to the rack. This happened in the first half, and Vince paid it off with a rim punishing dunk. Edwards looks to be out of the funk he was mired in during the first few games of the Big 10 season, and that's going to be crucial for the Boilermakers going forward. A smiling Vince Edwards is a good Vince Edwards, and a good Vince Edwards makes for a smiling TheLegendofShawnMcCarthy, so keep throwing down nasty dunks Vince, it makes both of us smile.
Problem of the Game: We need to have a serious talk about Grady Eifert's 3-point attempt in garbage time. I'm sure Tyler is an excellent basketball player, but come one man, that was one of the uglier 3-point attempts I've seen in awhile, and I play a good bit of pickup basketball. Have you ever seen a bird smack into a glass window? That's what the shot looked like. I can only hope that Grady's hands were slippery, or maybe he was overcome by a rush of adrenaline, or maybe someone opened the door at the far end of the gym and a gust of wind caught his shot, but man, that shot, just....man.
Post Game Request: In an attempt to make the comments section more entertaining, please post your best Purdue v Rutgers comparison. I'm going to compare Purdue V Rutgers to me going against my toddler, 1-on-1, on her nerf hoop, but I'm sure you folks can come up with something better than that.