The Purdue basketball team’s past six days have led to two losses by a total of 34 points. It has been a letdown from the stunning all around victory over Indiana.
Michigan State had four players score double digits, Gary Harris (24), Adreian Payne (23), Travis Trice (14), and Denzel Valentine (16). State topped Purdue in a 94-79 victory, setting a new school record by making 17 three point field goals. Ball movement helped out the Spartans as well, leading to 26 assists.
Purdue had a strong showing from freshman sharp shooter Kendall Stephens, who scored a team-high 19 points. He was followed by guard Ronnie Johnson with 17, and Rapheal Davis with 13 points.
The Boilermakers shot poorly from the line yet again, but they did cut down their turnovers to ten, which is five less than their season average. Overall, they played pretty well against Michigan State but their shooters’ ability to make shots was just too much for them to handle.
The Boilers followed up their loss by traveling to Nebraska and losing by a staggering amount.
Purdue shot 30 percent from the field the entire game. They also turned the ball over 14 times. Bryson Scott was the lone Boilermaker to score in double digits, putting up 13 points.
The only bright spot for the team was that they shot about 76 percent from the free throw line during the game. This is the only reason the Boilers were in the game at halftime before things got out of hand.
Nebraska showed that they can compete in the Big Ten conference. They produced 14 turnovers and ten of them off of steals. They shot 46 percent from the field far higher than the Boilermakers.
Terran Petteway lead the Huskers in scoring with 29 points, followed by Shavon Shields’ 18 points and Walter Pitchford with ten.
Sadly the team took a step back losing senior guard Sterling Cater for the remainder of the year after an awkward fall in the second half led to an ACL and Meniscus tear in his knee.
This game got away from Purdue with poor shooting from the field and a lack of defense. Foul trouble lead to switching the defensive scheme allowing Petteway to run away with the game. With the loss of Carter to the front court and his scoring ability it will be hard for the Boilermakers to compete against Michigan and the rest of the Big Ten.
Michigan comes into Mackey arena on February 26 to take on the struggling Boilermakers. They are lead by Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert, and Glenn Robinson III.
Stauskas has put up some strong numbers this year so far averaging 16.7 points a game and dishing out 3.5 assists. He shoots extremely well from the stripe, shooting just under 82 percent. He also shoots about 50 percent from the field. His down fall though is pressure. He averages two turnovers a game.
Levert shoots 81 percent from the line and 40 percent from the behind the arc. This will prove to be a struggle for the Boilermakers since they allowed 17 three pointers against MSU.
Robinson III puts in about 13 points a game as well and is a large asset for the Wolverines in their push to win the Big Ten title.
Purdue has to continue shooting well from the line to stay in games. Their defense has been lacking and looks like it will take a hit with the season ending knee injury to Sterling. The Boilers started out against Nebraska strong on defense yet with foul trouble and constant defensive changes lead to the route they lost to.
Tomorrow’s key to the game is to play smart aggressive defense. Do not commit shooting fouls. With shooters like Stauskas and LeVert the game will be out of reach quickly.
It is time for the Boilermakers to pull up their straps and show what the team is made of. The season is not over yet and Painter will get the most out of his team. Purdue needs to show that they won’t be walked on despite the setback.
The Wolverines will beat the Boilers by 14.