Boom. And there it was. In one five minute sample, all the late game collapses, the questionable calls, the shoddy decision-making, and finally, the definitive, representative loss Boiler fans have come to know like an unwelcomed family member who never skips a Thanksgiving meal.
The final score was Nebraska 83, Purdue 80.
With five minutes left in the game Dakota Mathias made one of his 5 three-pointers and put the Boilers back on top 69-67. The game would go back and forth before another Dakota three put the Boilers up 75-70 with 2:25 remaining in the game.
This is where this game became a horror story - but not an original one. Instead, it would scrap itself together on retreaded issues of Biggie Hero ball, turnovers, weak interior defense, questionable play-calling, Biggie’s turnovers.
On the road in the B10 is not easy against anyone, but a team like Purdue, with their talent and their aspirations, have to come away with games like this.
This game will be the game Painter haters will point to again as proof that he is nothing above an ordinary coach. When things got tough and when Purdue needed a basket, he called for Biggie to isolate in the post. Biggie did the same thing on three straight possessions: held the ball for too long, tried to force his way to the basket, and ignored the possibility of passing it out to his teammates. He got bailed out with a foul but then turned the ball over on his next possession.
Routinely Coach Painter has gone to Swanigan late in close games. Routinely he has tried a form of hero ball that has resulted in forced shots or turnovers.
What makes this late game insistent to Biggie even more remarkable, is that the Boilers shot 14 of 24 from deep in the game. Dakota Mathias had 19 points on 5 of 7 shooting from deep. Carsen Edwards knocked down 4 of his 5 shots from three and continued his strong play by scoring 16.
Swanigan finished the game going 5 of 15 from the floor while turning the ball over 4 times. Isaac Haas was 4 of 7 from the floor with 2 turnovers, but remained on the bench late despite Nebraska’s big men being in foul trouble.
Jack McVeigh had a career night, scoring 21 points for the Cornhuskers, including knocking down 4 of his 6 three-pointers. Jeriah Horne was another surprising contributor for Nebraska, he scored 16 on just 12 shots. Tai Webster scored 15 but was held to 5 of 18 shooting from the floor.
On a night the Boilers couldn’t miss from deep, they lost late, trying to force an iso in the post. 13 team turnovers and a -5 rebounding disadvantage only tell so much of the story of this defeat.
Unfortunately, we’ve all seen this movie enough at this point to know every line of the script. The Boilers look to host Northwestern on Wednesday, back in the safety of Mackey.