Last night’s game was absolutely heartbreaking. Before I get into the fun, which I’m using to distract myself from the sadness, I do want to do a little breakdown of the action. Purdue started the game red hot on a 7-0 run. They punched Michigan in the jaw to start the game and didn’t lose the lead they built until the overtime period. Throughout the second half, after Purdue had built a 17 point lead in the first half, I got that uneasy feeling like I’ve had during so many Purdue games during my life. I felt it during the Robbie Hummel/Evan Turner game at Mackey a few years back when Turner took over the second half of the game and crushed the spirits of the fans in attendance. Michigan just kept chipping away and suddenly a double digit lead was down to 9, then 4, then 1, then gone entirely. It was gut wrenching. Purdue played one of their best games of the season but it just wasn’t enough. In the overtime period with AJ Hammons disqualified due to fouling out Michigan absolutely abused Purdue in the paint. For as much grief as the fan base gives the big man you forget just how much of a defensive force he is in the paint. Without him the Purdue defense looks incredibly different. Plus what are the odds that Purdue misses just one free throw all night? What are the odds the one person that misses a free throw is the usually reliable Kendall Stephens? So many things broke just slightly wrong in last night’s game and if even one of them had went Purdue’s direction they would’ve won. That’s basketball I guess.
John Wooden Memorial Player of the Game (JWMPOTG)- While it would be very easy to give this honor to any number of players including Ronnie Johnson, Rapheal Davis who had a double double, or even Travis Carroll who played some great defense in his six minutes of play, but I have to give the nod to Terone Johnson. Terone’s first half barrage from the field keyed the run that put Purdue on their way to a dominating first half performance. Fans have been waiting for a game like this from Terone all season. He had a similarly great game against Michigan last year. Terone was all NBA Jam on fire last night. He cooled off considerably in the second half but this is the Terone Johnson we had all hoped for.
Now to the fun part. This is the stuff that gets us through these hard times. As Purdue fans we’ve had plenty of hard times and if we can’t laugh through it how will we enjoy these times?
My reaction before the game-
Right After Tip As Purdue Dominated-
As the lead got pushed to 17-
As the lead began to slip before half-
After half as the lead fell to single digits-
When Michigan had a chance to win at the end of regulation-
During overtime as Michigan scored time after time in the paint-
Purdue up 1 grabs a rebound and Stephens goes to the line for 1 and 1-
When Stephens missed the free throw and Michigan rebounded-
When Robinson’s shot rolled around the rim and somehow fell in (Yes I’m an idiot and said it was a tip-in)-