Purdue Distracted by Hideous Flag in Second Half at Maryland, Fall 70-56
(Photo credit: Journal & Courier)
Purdue rolled into Scott Van Pelt’s alma mater tonight to face perhaps their last truly tough test of the regular season, taking on a ranked Maryland foe. Purdue took out the Terps in early December and this time, things started a bit slow, actually.
The Boilers took an early lead and began to slowly stretch it out a bit. Carsen Edwards had himself a first half, ultimately going for 17 in the early frame, punctuated by a steal and dunk with some cackling sprinkled on top. Speaking of this, it looked as though somebody under the basket at the Maryland end of the floor was chirping with Purdue early and Carsen (and to a lesser extent, Ryan Cline) were happy to engage in what I presume were the merits of skinny jeans in the mid-Atlantic.
Purdue ended the first half with the ball and as the clock wound down, Carsen was demonstratively asking for the ball again – but Cline decided to fire from just inside the Maryland “M,” even though the clock had about seven seconds on it. The ball swished through to give Cline his third trey in as many attempts and Purdue a 38-30 lead at the break.
Then I turned off the TV and went to bed.
Unfortunately, the two teams had previously agreed to play forty minutes of basketball, but Purdue forgot about this and was already on the bus back to the airport. And you know how it is once you’ve already cooled down. How do I put this? Uh…. it didn’t go nearly as well in half two.
You can certainly take issue with some of the refs calls or lack of calls, as they really let things go for Maryland, or so it felt to this casually biased observer. But that’s something that is all part of the game of basketball, especially on the road, and you need to overcome those challenges. Purdue came out icy cold in the second half, starting something like 1-for-12 (might have been worse, not bothering to look it up). It’s weird how basketball works and as a Purdue fan, I know I always fear the worst after a good half of basketball. Naturally, though, I also lament a lousy half, so yeah, watching games when I have expectations or hopes of Purdue is painful.
The good guys were outscored — you may want to look away or tell your children to leave the room — 40-18 in the second half – that’s not a typo – and shot a putrid 28.2% for the game (21% from deep!). Not going to win much of anything at that rate. As per usual, we saw people blaming this loss on Carsen, which… I mean, if you’re still on that train, I’m not really sure if you like Purdue. But fret not, Carsen critics! You wont have to deal with him a whole lot longer. Oh, and by the way, while he certainly did not have a good game by his standards, Carsen wound up with 24 points and nine boards while nobody else did much of anything. (Cline was second with nine points on 3/12 shooting.)
Once it got under about five minutes to go, you could kind of tell it just wasn’t going to happen for the black and old gold. Absolutely nothing was falling, Maryland was having their way with Purdue at both ends of the floor, Haarms was in foul trouble and the Purdue coaching staff seemed to have no answers. Either that or Matt Painter and company made a conscious decision to let these guys try to figure things out on the floor. Maybe that was the case, maybe it wasn’t. I don’t know. But for all the right button-pushing Coach Paint has done this season, I didn’t see any adjustments of note tonight. Although I’m not sure how many whiteboard sketches he has for a team shooting under 30% from the field.
If you’re interested in other stat sheet observations, Purdue had only five assists….for the entire game. As a team. The starting five combined for….*checks stats*….one helper. Barf.
Hey, Purdue wasn’t going to win out. We’ve said that more than a few times (including on our podcasts which you really should listen to if you haven’t). They hadn’t lost since January 8, having reeled off eight wins in a row and 11 of 12 since a loss at the Crossroads on December 15. One loss in nearly two months, folks….let’s just have some perspective.
Now, however, Purdue needs to buckle down. With three conference losses, you want to do everything you can to maintain that top 4 status to ensure the double-bye in the conference tournament.
Next up is Penn State on Saturday, followed by a trip to Bloomington next Tuesday. The grinder never lets up.