The Purdue Boilermakers traveled to Nebraska for their first Big Ten road game after a week off, hoping to pick up a win and jump back into the top-25.
Instead, a cold shooting night and miserable game from distance, the Huskers picked up the upset victory 70-56.
But Purdue might have bigger concerns than wins or losses after Purdue’s starting center Matt Haarms went up for a block late in the second half for a block and had his legs taken out from under him. It sent the 7’3” big man spilling down, slamming the side of his head on the court. Trainers came out and Haarms was walked off the court and into the locker rooms.
While the future of Purdue basketball might rest on Haarms’ health going forward, fourteen 7’3” Dutchmen wouldn’t have been able to save this game.
Purdue had one of its worst shooting performances in history. They missed nearly 30 three-point attempts, going 6 of 35. They weren’t much better closer to the rim. They finished shooting 30% on 79 field goal attempts.
The Cornhuskers shot the ball well, making 11 of their 30 three-point attempts, but it was the timely nature of threes late that put a late-minute surge by the Boilers to rest.
Purdue’s leading scorer coming in, Jahaad Proctor, had by far his worst performance as a Boiler. He scored just 5 points, going just 2 of 11 from the floor, and making all his three-point attempts.
Purdue’s sharp shooter, Sasha Stefanovic, had good looks late, but was only 2 of 8 from his oppurtunities.
If there was a bright spot on the floor, it was Trevion William’s ability to bully the Cornhuskers on the glass and in the paint. He had a double-double, finishing with 18 points and 16 rebounds.
This will be a pull the tape and throw it in a dumpster fire game for Purdue’s offense. Their defense wasn’t much sharper. Cornhuskers were able to get open looks and cuts to the basket in the second half - an uncharacteristic performance by one of the nation’s best defensive teams coming into the game.
Purdue will get a chance to right the ship with a road trip to take on Ohio directly ahead of the Crossroads Classic.
Purdue is now 6-3(1-1) on the season.