Turning Point for Boilers? Purdue squeaks one out in Mackey 63-62

A rare occurrence happened earlier this evening- no, I'm not talking about Penn State nearly beating our Boilers at Mackey. What happened is astonishing and a little sad actually. J and I both missed watching our Boilers live. I am in SLC on business and couldn't find the BTN and J had a family engagement. But have no fear, you'll get to savor our delicious analysis...just a few hours late.

Based on stats and a tiny highlight clip I saw, here's what I gather:

-JJ's been torching Purdue's opponents...and they all know it's coming. But, they can do little about it. Kinda like the end of tonight's game. OK, well maybe not exactly. How PSU neglected to stay with 25 on that out of bounds play is beyond me. But they didn't and because of Johnson's 19 footer, Purdue escaped a third-straight loss. He finished with a ho-hum night- 25 points...But, he was well off his rebounding average and ended with just three boards. He continues to hit very important free throws as he went 7-8...but he missed a key freebie in the closing minutes. But, he made up for it, obviously.

-Smooge is back...kinda. His 16 points are still off of his average, but he shot better from the floor and had a couple drives including a strong finish in traffic that seemed to be out of frustration. He also had 5 assists and only 1 turnover.

-After that, there's not a ton to write home about. No other player had more than Barlow's 6 points. LewJack only finished with 3 assists...but had 0 turnovers and the game-sealing steal as he intercepted a long pass in PSU's final possession. Maybe the most-noteworthy stat to me is from Ryne Smith. Last time v. PSU, Smith went 5-5 from the three point line and finished with 20. Tonight, he was only 1-2 from deep and finished with 5 points. But, he had 5 assists and only one turnover.

Matty's teams have been resilient and had short memories since he came to Purdue. But, tonight's game might turn out to be one of the most-important of the season...a turning point of sorts. I think they really needed this win especially going into the sizable MSU game on Saturday with EsPN's gameday in town and Sparty needing a win after their loss to Illinois.

While Penn State at home is a game Purdue should win in my opinion, but sweeping PSU this season is no small feat- ask MSU and Illinois. Purdue plays the Spartans at 9:00 on Saturday night.

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