The key sequence in the game came late in the second half with Nebraska surging and having a shot to continue to whittle down the Purdue lead. Nebraska had possession and a chance to cut the lead to nine when Dakota Mathias got a steal and drained a three. P.J. Thompson would follow with a three of his own just moments later and suddenly Purdue found themselves with their largest lead of the game up 17. After that it was all over.
John Wooden Memorial Player of the Game (JWMPOTG): Vincent Edwards used hot shooting to help Purdue out to a quick lead in the game’s opening minutes. At one point in the first half Purdue had 33 points and Vincent Edwards had 15 on 6-9 shooting. Even in the second half when the shots weren’t falling at quite the same rate Edwards used defense and rebounding to continue to make an impact. That’s what you need from your senior leader. Vincent finished, playing 39 minutes (only coming out just prior to the under eight timeout in the first half), with 21 points on 7-14 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and 6 assists plus 0 turnovers. That’s a ballgame right there.
If Purdue has any hope of winning the conference title, they currently sit at 4-0 atop the conference, these are the types of games they absolutely have to win. Games like this are so important because when the shots aren’t falling you’ve got to find other ways to win. Purdue is a team that can beat you any number of ways. Very few teams in the country have the inside outside combo that Purdue has.
Matt Painter often talks about being able to win games when your shots aren’t falling and this is exactly what he means. The B1G, even if it is a bit down, is still a difficult grind. There will be good games and bad games on the offensive end for everyone and you’ve got to win some ugly games. This game surely ranks among the ugliest you’ll see. The second half saw neither team score until just under three minutes had gone by. It saw turnover after turnover. It saw Nebraska miss opportunity after opportunity to chip away at a lead against a team that they, quite frankly, had no chance to be competing against. And finally, it saw Nebraska dunk the basketball more times than I can remember any other Purdue opponent doing.
Let’s take a look at some quick hits:
- Purdue shot just 6-21 from three. Small sample size but Purdue did start 2-3 from three. That means for the remainder of the game they went 4-18. Woof.
- Isaac Haas was only able to play 18 minutes due to some first half foul trouble then a quick third foul in the second half. This led to Haarms getting a little more run in the first half until he got umm...hit in the midsection...leading to Jacquil Taylor getting a shot.
- Purdue continues their stellar free throw shooting going 14-18 at the line today. This has really been a strength for the team this year. Isaac Haas was 4-5 today.
- Purdue won the rebound battle by a 39-30 margin.
- Purdue struggled a bit at times allowing Nebraska to get into the lane a little too easily for my taste. It didn’t help that Haas was out and we had to rely on some unconventional lineups. Jacquil Taylor is still a bit slow after all the injuries but it was nice to see him get into the game.
- Purdue committed 16 turnovers. Nebraska did the same.
- That technical foul on Nebraska was garbage.
Purdue now sits at 4-0 in the conference and #13 in the country. With some top teams in the country losing this week and Purdue completing two dominate wins over conference opponents it gives this team a chance to jump into the top ten. Purdue is next in action Tuesday when the team travels to Michigan to take on the Wolverines at 9:00 PM. That’s going to be another test for this senior Boilermaker team.