East Lansing is a Whore

East Lansing is a Whore

Purdue-vs-MSU.jpg

I don’t think most Purdue fans felt Purdue was going to walk into Columbus or East Lansing and roll to wins. However, the Boilers held a 12 point lead at OSU and let it slip away and then tonight got out to a nine point lead before rolling over like Boilerdowd on a Saturday night when Mrs. B-dowd comes into the room. Like B-dowd, it wasn’t enough, as tonight was a 71-66 loss. Being a Purdue fan is funny like that – road wins at OSU or MSU are tall orders, even in years where the two of them aren’t dominant. It’s tough to win on the road in the Big Ten, period. And yet, the Boilers manage to get us to…. to believe. Only to tear it away from us and punch us in the beans.

What Happened?

Purdue came out kind of flat and never really looked in sync. However, MSU also didn’t look good early and Dakota Mathias looked confident from deep and the Boilers began to get out ahead. On one of Dakota’s threes that splashed down, Purdue favorite Brendan Dawson not only fouled Mathias and knocked him down, but managed to step on Dakota’s coconut. So Purdue’s best shooter early in this game was bloodied and had to head to the locker room.

Dawson steps on Dakota

Very shortly thereafter, Issac Haas/Ivan Drago exacted some revenge and knocked the sweetheart Dawson out of the game.

Haas whacks Dawson

Now, look….Dawson has always been a dirtbag. Last year he wound up and punched Travis Carroll. No call, of course, since nobody who plays for Saint Tom could do such a thing. But this kid has been a jerk ever since he selected MSU over Purdue and seemingly decided to remind Coach Painter of it whenever he could, even verbally. So while I never want to see someone actually injured, I didn’t totally mind Dawson getting a whack to the face.

Purdue, as mentioned, continued to build out that lead and were up 28-19 with three minutes to go in the first half. I couldn’t decide if it was good Purdue had played kind of mediocre and had a lead or bad that MSU had been pretty mediocre and Purdue didn’t have a huge lead. It didn’t matter, though, because Purdue then went to sleep and Sparty went on a 26-6 run over the next 13 minutes of game action. With eight minutes to go, MSU had outscored Purdue 20-7 in the second half alone and was up 47-37. Predictably, the Boilers couldn’t get a whole lot closer.

Who Performed and Who Didn’t?

AJ had his first sleepytime game in a while. Sure, he had 8 rebounds, but hell, he’s seven feet tall. AJ had seven points on 3/12 shooting and just did not ever seem comfortable or aggressive. He even seemed to be catching the ball further out than is ideal. I want AJ pushing to the rim and either flushing it or drawing fouls or both. Not much of that tonight.

Jon Octeus was also very much out of sync. He wound up with 11 points but he didn’t score until there was 5:27 left in the game. Before that he looked befuddled and very much unlike the calm, cool senior he has been for the Boilers all season.

Purdue was led by Kendall Stephen’s 16 points off the bench on 5/9 shooting, including 5/8 from long range. Dakota had 12 on 4/7, all from beyond the arc.

Ray Davis had one of his worst games of the season, accounting for just two points on 1/5 shooting, including some ugly misses. Davis also had just one rebound.

When AJ and RayDay have a night like that, it’s kind of amazing the Boilers were in the game at all.

The game was over when…

Well, take your pick. I’ll say that if you still had hope, you were leaning forward over your glass of scotch as Kid Stephens drilled a three to cut the gap to 47-42 with 7:06 to go. However, Travis Trice made two triples around a Jon Octeus basket and then Matt Costello hooked his way around Ike Haas and made a massive dunk (with one of many mystery fouls called on Purdue) to make the game 56-44 with under four minutes to go. The end.

Tweet of the Night

 

What’s Next?

Dave will no doubt be along to let you know what this all means to Purdue’s NCAA tourney chances, but I’ll say that it’s time to focus on Illinois. Beat them at home and you’re a 20-win Big Ten team (pre-BTT) with a 12-6 conference record. Such a team has never been left out before. While these last two games may sting now, Purdue had two of their absolute toughest road tests of the Big Ten season back to back. Nothing you can do about it but keep pushing forward.

Choo choo, boys.

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