|"Right hand, blue. Ah, you're out, E'Twaun!"|
The old people who like things nice and quiet had an enjoyable evening at Mackey tonight, as the Boilers dispatched the Ospreys by twenty in front of a Finals-sleepy crowd.
The team seemed to go to sleep for stretches in the second half as well, at one point committing five straight turnovers -- mostly unforced -- before Matty decided that with nine minutes to go it was time for the starters to go back in to put a boot on the throat of the suddenly spry North Florida kids. The lead had ballooned almost to 30 a few minutes earlier, but the sloppy Purdue play allowed North Florida to close to within 15 at one point. The game was never in doubt but Purdue's resolve definitely was. It almost looked to me like the Boilers simply got bored in the second half. Leading by 20 and nearly doubling up your opponent by halftime will sometimes do that, I guess.
The media's current go-to pre-game topic is now about how Purdue is "desperately" looking for a third scoring option. You know, some teams have only one serious scoring threat. Purdue has two top-level threats, followed by a number of talented options. As the team keeps winning tough road games and blowing out opponents at home, at what point does the hand-wringing stop? Probably never.
The big boys scored 25 (JJ) and 21 (Smooge) points to lead the way and JaJuan shot a sizzling 75% from the field. The rest of the team was fairly quiet, with the next-highest scorer being Travis Carroll, who knocked down three jumpers that looked very good. He also grabbed three boards, had an assist and a steal to go along with his four fouls.
Bade was unshackled for ten minutes tonight and despite the numbers not showing it, I felt like Patrick was better tonight... that is to say, less invisible. He hit his only shot from the field but went 0-3 at the line. Back to the doghouse for you, Patrick!
Purdue played their game for the first half and then put it on cruise control. That's the story of this game. If you're worried about the fact that North Florida tied Purdue in the second half, that's fine, but only if your worry is that Purdue doesn't finish opponents in a crushing enough manner. It had nothing to do with talent. And I might also point to the fact that MSU eked out a one-point victory over Oakland tonight. So things could be a lot worse.
The 9-1 Boilers are now off for a week before playing in Conseco against Indiana State.