The Boilers looked deflated and overwhelmed while losing their composure against a team that refused to ease up on their focus and intensity throughout the entire game. Purdue responded well in the first half but seemed to deflate following a Mason Gillis foul on an offensive rebound attempt (where he didn’t even foul) and technical foul when he verbally challenged the call that was made. The Terrapins went until the 4:50 mark left in the first half before being called for their first foul and then weren’t called for a foul in the second half until the 12:38 mark. The unevenness and unwillingness of the officials to call a clean and fair game clearly flustered the Boilermakers into their worst showing of the season heading into the final stretch of the season. They currently now hold only a one game lead in the conference race after leading by as many as 4 games a few weeks ago.
Let’s check back on the important matchups:
1 | Ethan Morton vs. Jahmir Young
I thought Morton did a good job on Young throughout the first half but Young clearly came out for the second half wanting to control the game for the Terrapins. Morton and the rest of the Boilers struggled to respond when Maryland started to see their shots go down and couldn’t get a stop in the midst of a huge run that culminated in an 18 point lead after Purdue had led by as many as 8 in the second half. It was one of the ugliest runs I have seen from a Purdue team that just seemed to roll over when presented with some adversity in the form of poor officiating, poor shooting, and an aggressive opponent.
2 | Zach Edey vs. Julian Reese
I thought this would be an important matchup for this game but it largely fell flat because Purdue failed to get Edey in positions for him to be successful enough while Reese just sort of played to his game. I said that Edey probably needed to get to 22 points and 12 rebounds but he ended up getting 18 and 8. Four additional points and possibly 4 offensive rebounds would have loomed large but Edey just didn’t look like his dominant self in this game. It stings on a night when Purdue shot 2-13 from behind the arc and got out rebounded by 12.
Advantage: Slightly Maryland
3 | Turnovers (x12)
Well, if Purdue had a bright spot it was having only 7 turnovers against a team that was obviously wanting to pressure and press Purdue for the entirety of the game. However, it seems like the focus on not turning the ball over may have led to Purdue being less aggressive, especially in situations where they could take advantage of Maryland pressing for quick and easy baskets. Yes, Purdue only had 7 turnovers but they played to cautious and concerned about those turnovers that it clearly had an impact on the rest of the game. Just because a press doesn’t lead to a turnover doesn’t mean it isn’t being effective. A team has to make an opponent pay for stretching itself out like that and Purdue just didn’t do that as they had only 5 fast break points.
Well, that was a big swing and a miss from me. I hit that Maryland would score 68 points but didn’t think Purdue would 17 points less from my 71 point prediction. Purdue just seemed to be out of sorts following the Gillis technical foul and it looked like Maryland was running downhill and Purdue had a piano strapped to it’s back.