Yes, the refs were bad.
Yes, the ball was off Iowa at the end and should have been Purdue ball.
No, bad officiating did not cost this game for Purdue.
Bad Purdue cost this game for Purdue.
At the end of the day, Purdue had plenty of opportunities to put Iowa away, and failed to do so. Throughout the night, Purdue had no answer for Peter Jok as he scores 29 points with 6 rebounds and 8 assists. Tyler Cook and Jordan Bohannon finished with 16 and 12 points, respectively, as they side swiped the Boilers into their 2nd conference loss of the season.
Purdue was either leading or was within one possession of Iowa in the final minutes of the game. Yet, they finished the night going 2-14 from the field and did not score a single point in the final 2:47 of the game. In addition, Purdue went 21-25 from the charity stripe while Iowa went 9-18 overall tonight. It doesn’t matter what else happens in the game, you’re rarely going to win basketball games with those numbers, even if you beat the same team by ~20 points 2+ weeks ago and the calls don’t go your way.
While I’m sure many of you are going to be doom and gloom in the comments, I’m going to try and stay somewhat positive. Yes, this loss sucks, but Purdue still has a shot at winning the conference. It’s certainly not going to be easy now, but the path is still there.
Purdue has this weekend off, and really needs to utilize that time playing as a team. When this team works together, they can beat anyone in the country. We saw glimpses of that tonight, especially when Cline had those back-to-back 3s thanks to some great ball movement. But when individual players decide to play hero ball and jack up 3s because they can, rather than going for a smart pass for an easy basket, then problems can arise.
Purdue has been in this situation before and has shown they can still succeed. Let’s not forget the Baby Boilers had a 3-game losing streak at the beginning of the 2009-10 conference play, culminating with a loss at Northwestern (who I’d argue was probably worse than this Iowa team). After that loss, Purdue regrouped and still won the Big Ten.
This Purdue team can do the same thing. MSU and Wisconsin still need to prove themselves on the road, Maryland is still a shaky team, and Nebraska will probably lose a few more.
Purdue can still right this ship, but they are running out of room to do so.
And if you’re still feeling down, well here’s a cow trying to catch snowflakes on its tongue. I tried.