Sunday, February 11, 2007

So Close

Purdue followed up their impressive home thrashing of Michigan State with a valiant effort on the road in nearly upsetting the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus. In a game where Purdue wasn't given much of a chance as 12 point underdogs, the Boilers gave Ohio State all they could handle and then some.

At one point late in the second half, Purdue actually led and looked to be on their way to what would have been the biggest upset in college basketball thus far this season. With just under 8 minutes to play, a David Teague three pointer capped a 8-0 run and put the Boilers up 51-46. From there, it was all downhill for the Boilers. After being benched due to foul trouble, Greg Oden came back into the game and sparked a 17-5 run that put the game away. Teague led the Boilers with 17 points and Landry chipped in with 13 points and 9 rebounds, but it was Tarrance Crump who was the player of the game for the Boilers. Crump did an amazing job creating his own shots late in the second half scoring several key baskets that kept the Boilers in the game.

This road loss is certainly a moral victory for Matt Painter's Boilers. They have come a long way since getting blown out in Terre Haute earlier this season, at a time when it looked as though Purdue would never be competitive on the road. Since then, they have gotten that elusive Big Ten road victory and also played #2 Wisconsin and #3 Ohio State very tough on their home floors. Purdue now sits at 16-9 (5-6 in the Big Ten), and still has plenty of opportunities left to reach their goal of 20 wins. Purdue's RPI is currently at #38, good for 4th in the Big Ten. Up next for Purdue is Indiana on Wednesday night at Mackey Arena, a game in which the Boilers are no doubt looking for some sweet revenge.