The Gold team, behind a strong return to Lafayette by Sandi Marcius, beat Robbie Hummel’s black squad 86-84 in the Purdue alumni game played at Lafayette Jeff High School.
The game was a mix of nostalgia, sloppy play, out of shape guys, and fun. Brian Cardinal started the game with a very bricked 3 pointer, but got some of the biggest cheers later when he couldn’t help but fall back into the Mr. Hustle role. He along with Hummel mounted a couple late comebacks to claim the victory but a falling away three pointer in the corner by Hummel bounced off rim and it was not to be.
These games are never pretty. They are meant to capitalize on the nostalgia of the college fan and allow us to squint our eyes and believe we’re getting to watch our favorite players of the past be the players we remember them being. Mostly it’s an excuse to get a bunch of alumni together and watch them get some cardio and that’s just fine.
Ryne Smith, looking a few pounds heavier post-career, started hot and finished with 17 points to help lead the Gold squad to victory. It wasn’t just 3’s either. The guard made a couple nice moves to get layups in the paint. But the Gold’s edge was in height. The combination of Matt Kiefer and Travis Carroll along with Sandi Marcius was just too much to handle. In a sloppy game, often times just being able to retrieve misses can make all the different.
David Teague added twenty for the losing Black squad. Brian Cardinal, shaking off the early ugly miss - and those that followed - to score 13 points and even ended up in the stands a couple times during the game. Matt Waddell finished with 9 points, on 3 three pointers and still might have the prettiest jump shot on the planet. Hummel’s 16 came with a lot of missed shots - unable to find the touch from deep throughout the game though he did look very springy and quick compared to most the players on the court.
The highlight of the game came at the end of the first half when Rapheal Davis - 13 points and another W - had the ball and was setting up for a last second shot. Kenneth Lowe and him had been trash-talking most the half, and the former Captain was forced to call a timeout with about 10 seconds left after running Lowe off a series of screens. He was forced to call the timeout because he couldn’t stop laughing. When play resumed, Lowe forced Davis into the help defense and Rapheal failed to get a shot off.
But more important than all that, we got to see Gene Keady rise up from the bench to give hell to his players, the refs, and anyone else who happened to be around him when a call went against his team. That’s what you paid your ten dollars for, and no one was left disappointed. The coach still has it even without the swoop over.