Chippewas Shut Down By Purdue’s Defense

Boiler win easily 64-38

Who decided to have a basketball game that early in the morning? I always complain about the early starts that the Purdue football team gets, but this was a half an hour earlier. Starting a game at 10:30 am my time really makes for an interesting morning. On the drive down to West Lafayette I kept wondering if that would affect the players. Playing a game before most college kids are even awake has to be hard. The other factor that had to be on most people’s minds was the fact that Purdue had just come off a great win against #9 Tennessee to win the Paradise Jam. Tuesday Wake Forest comes to town as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. This game in between could have been trouble.

It was not though. Although the offense did not play as well as we would have liked, the defense came to play today. Central Michigan only scored fourteen points in the first half. Three of those points should never have been. Chris Kramer took the ball away from a Chippewa player in the corner, and was apparently fouled by at least two of the three players around him. Instead of calling the foul, the ref called Kramer’s pass out of bounds. The three pointer that followed was the last three points Central Michigan would score in the half. If the play had gone the other way it would have been a turnover for the Chippewa’s, and they would have had three less points on the board. That basket was at the six minute mark of the first half. It is amazing to me that any team can keep another team off the board for over six minutes. Purdue’s defense is great. They would have ended the half with more turnovers than points. As it was they ended the game with more turnovers then field goals. The final tally was sixteen turnovers and 13 field goals. My picture for this weeks preview of the ‘Defense Live Here’ sign must have been a premonition. At times this defense is more fun to watch than the offense. This team only allowed five baskets in the first half, and 38 points all game. That is the best effort since the Michigan State game in 2007.

One shining star in my book today was Mark Wohlford. He gets the player of the game in my opinion. E’Twaun scored 15 points, although 11 of those were in the first half. Robbie Hummel scored 11, and pulled down 11 rebounds. Both had good games. Wohlford though was all over the place. He played 20 solid minutes today when Chris Kramer got into foul trouble. He only scored five points with one board and one block, but he was tireless on defense. He lays it all out there, and the opponent cannot take him for granted. Maybe we just like to root for the underdogs. At some point though Mark will cease to be an underdog.

The next game for the Boilers is Tuesday against Wake Forest. The students will be back in the stands, and we could be looking at a top five team on the floor. With Michigan State losing yesterday we could potentially move up in the rankings. Speaking of the students I was pleasantly surprised today to see how full Mackey was. They claim 12,000+ for the official attendance today. They really have done a great job marketing the games that are not in the student package. The game is missing something without the kids though. They bring the energy to the stadium. I am sure that they will be fired up Tuesday though for the big matchup.


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