Purdue Drops Nailbiter Late At Florida State 73-72
Feature Image from Mark Wallheiser, AP.
In one of the most evenly-matched games of this year’s Big Ten / ACC challenge, #19 Purdue was defeated by #15 FSU on a go-ahead floater with 5 seconds remaining, losing 73-72 on the road.
We were a little occupied recording an emergency Handsome Hour about some kind of football coach deciding to pass on his dream job to continue coaching the Boilermakers. So, let’s just do the Player of the Game and Good/Bad/Ugly about this fantastic game with an ugly ending.
Player(s) of the Game
On Purdue’s end, Carsen Edwards and Ryan Cline were both wonderful for most of the night. Ask me outside of the final two minutes, and my clear answer would have been Cline (finishing with 21 points on 7/11 shooting from three), but the two game-sealing turnovers in the final 15 seconds left me with a sour taste. So I’ll give them co-awards.
(FSU’s Terance Mann was everywhere, finishing with 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks, and should get a shoutout here too.)
Ryan Cline has been the best non-Carsen player on the team, by a wide margin. His shooting helped to negate FSU’s athleticism, and kept the game close as Purdue went on several score-less stretches. After showing inconsistency on the floor and immaturity off it, Cline has emerged as the senior Purdue can count on. Outside of, you know, the last two minutes of play. We’ll get to that below.
Carsen Edwards has no fear. Tonight didn’t start out as his most efficient outing, having his shot altered by the trees playing in FSU jerseys seemingly every time he drove into the paint. But Carsen didn’t stop attacking, which opened passing lanes to Cline and let Evan Boudreaux and Grady Eifert crash the offensive glass. Carsen finished with 24 points on 7/19 shooting (only 3/10 from beyond the arc), 4 assists and 3 rebounds…but a killer 8 turnovers as FSU kept crashing their defense when Carsen had the ball. Also, the last two minutes…well, we’ll get to that below.
FSU’s Nike N7 turquoise jerseys, honoring their Native American ties, were absolutely gorgeous and that color palette should instantly replace everything on FSU’s campus.
Nojel Eastern helped even the athleticism gap for Purdue, and made fantastic second half passes to kickstart Purdue’s offense. Nojel is becoming the perfect backcourt partner for Carsen at the collegiate level. (This is where I make a forced Nojel/Carsen comparison to 2017’s Houston Rockets backcourt combination of Patrick Beverley and James Harden, and where you roll your eyes.)
Back-to-back offensive fouls drawn by Boudreaux and Sasha Stefanovic which Purdue converted to points to take the lead with 13 minutes left in the second half. Alongside Cline’s sharp shooting and Carsen being a fiery ball of wonder, the “other guys” went a long way to justifying Purdue’s #19 ranking.
The second-half Boudreaux-fueled energy of Purdue completely stunned FSU, and helped the Boilermakers zoom back from a 16-point deficit.
Let’s take care of this here – Carsen got raked across the, well, entire upper half of his body with 20 seconds left, TV Teddy Valentine’s referee crew had time to review it, and ignored everything. TV Teddy wins again.
FSU’s basketball fanbase. Seriously, the Seminoles have a pretty fantastic and entertaining team coming off a deep March Madness run, they’re hosting a ranked Boilermaker team for the B10/ACC challenge, they’re the marquee game of that timeslot…and the arena sounded relatively quiet for most of the night. They perked up at the end, but the hype should be on full-tilt for a game like this one.
This wasn’t the best matchup for Trevion Williams, who was hesitant on offense and looked completely outmatched defensively. Taking early lumps like tonight will be part of his growth this season.
Grady Eifert, who had some moments of good hustle, looked mostly out-of-sorts trying to keep up with the pace today.
Why didn’t Aaron Wheeler get a little more run than his 2 minutes?
Purdue’s end of the first half was a comedy of errors, turnovers, and missed defensive assignments.
FSU’s early second half was a confluence of poor energy, turnovers, and missed defensive assignments.
Carsen missed two potentially game-sealing free throws with 1-minute left. No two ways about it, these were brutal during a stretch where both teams were melting down.
The entire last two minutes. A combined 6 turnovers and 2 field goal attempts was a very weird way to finish this otherwise-fun B10/ACC matchup, and Purdue finished on the losing end. The offense, flowing beautifully midway through the second half, lost gas down the stretch as Cline forgot how to pass and the wings forgot how to move. The refs might be one part of this, but execution by a young Purdue team to close against a talented FSU squad was the difference.
This Purdue roster trying to match up with FSU’s athleticism. Seriously, Terrance Mann is a 6’7” pogo stick wing, Mfiondu Kabengele is a 6’10” do-it-all forward and nephew of Dikembe Mutombo, Christ Koumadje is a 7’4” monster with the wingspan of a pterodactyl…this year’s Boilermakers were dwarfed tonight.
Tuuuuurnovers, particularly in the first half (10 first half TOs) as Purdue was adjusting to FSU’s length and pace.
Coach Painter calling a timeout before the last play. Purdue wasn’t quite ready to take advantage of FSU celebrating Trent Forrest’s go-ahead floater, and a quick decision is necessary for a no-timeout call like that to pay off. But Purdue was slow, went straight for the timeout, and opted to play against FSU’s set defense. The result was another Cline turnover, and the end of the game.
The next stretch of Purdue’s schedule: at #7 Michigan, vs #24 Maryland, at #17 Texas, and vs Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic.
Tweet of the Night
On a night with an overflow of Purdue news, let’s go with the things that matter the most: