The Boilermakers have proved in just the last few games that they aren't quite in the cellar of the conference. The Huskers, just like Penn State, aren't very good, that is for sure...and have been in a state of rebuilding since the 90s. What else do you expect from a team that hasn't gone to the big dance since Chad Austin played for the Boilermakers. That being said, any win on the road in the B1G should be savored...and just a month ago, this Purdue team might have dropped this game. Tonight, they won, 65-56, and led by as many as 20.
I would argue that Purdue played pretty well at times tonight...But, it did look, for a few minutes at least, like they were trying to give it away. Hammons, Byrd, Ronnie and Terone all had had solid games...and kept Nebraska at an arm's length for much of the night.
Purdue's defense held Nebraska without a field goal for five minutes and twenty seven seconds in the first half and almost five minutes in the second half...pretty impressive for such a young team. But they also showed their youth in the fact that they let Nebraska hang around in spite of the stifling defense.
Overall I liked TJ's play tonight- Minus a few awful looking floaters, as usual, Terone had 18 points on 7-15 shooting, and six rebounds tonight.
His brother Ronnie went 3-9 for 10 points for six assits and five rebounds.
Hammons continued to build on his great Frosh season with 14/8 and 6 blocks, and DJ stepped up when it mattered late (minus the two missed free throws which were inexcusable) and finished with 12 & 5.
The Boilers are on a two game winning streak going into a tough game against another young squad in West Virginia, back at Mackey. I've liked this series the last few seaons...But if the Boilermakers want to win, they'll need to play smart basketball. Like him or not, Huggins typically has his teams ready to go...and like Purdue, they're in desperate need of wins.
West Virginia starts three sophomores, one senior and a freshman. With the large contingent of youth on the floor, we'll probably be getting a foretaste of what's to come...as both of these teams will be very tough in the coming seasons.
A win on the road is always good; even in Lincoln...ask IU if you don't believe that.