Purdue’s run as the #1 team in the country is likely over as Rutgers beat Purdue for the second straight season. Purdue was unable to overcome 13 turnovers and another poor shooting night which is now becoming a concerning trend for a team that has too many good options to struggle in this manner.
In the first half, Edey struggled with fouls as he was called for his first just twenty seconds and his second not long after which forced him to the bench for 11 minutes of the first half as Purdue struggled to have any continuity offensively. Purdue struggled to just 24 first half points while shooting just 24% from the field while Rutgers was able to outscore the Boilers by ten while shooting 50% from the field for a 34-24 advantage at halftime.
In the second half, Purdue was able to handle some of the pressure that Rutgers’ defense is able to generate by shooting 56.5% from the field and 41.7% (5-12) from behind the arc. But Rutgers was able to withstand the Purdue run late in the game and was able to hit shots to not let Purdue get out in front.
With 5:37 left in the second half, Morton was able to take a Rutgers turnover for a layup to tie the game at 52-52 but Paul Mulcahy was able to control the game for Rutgers getting 6 points and getting the game winning assist to Cam Spencer when Purdue had taken a two point lead with a Fletcher Loyer made three off a Zach Edey offensive rebound tip out.
Overall, Purdue again struggle to shoot from behind the arc going just 7-23 for the game but Newman (3-6), Loyer (2-5), and Smith (1-2) went a combined 6-13 while the rest of the team went 1-10. However, the Boilers were able to score 40 second half points against what is likely the best defensive team they will face all season long. That type of effort should help the Boilers as they continue in the conference season and look for a 25th B1G Title.
Purdue will head to #24 ranked Ohio State on the 5th and will look to remain in the upper half of the B1G.