On a day when we expected to see E’Twaun Moore eclipse the 2,000 point mark he did much more than that. Before the game I tweeted that instead of 2,000 I wanted to see him go over 2,025 points. I was joking more than anything because that would be a 36 point night. He does not do that every night let alone against the #2 team in the country. It turns out he didn’t get 36, he scored 38 points. As crazy as it sounds it was not a selfish 38. He had chances to pad that total, but he really is a team player. He is fun to watch play for sure. He took over the game when his team needed him the most. He has fallen off a bit of late. That is not to say that he has not been playing well, but his teammate JaJuan Johnson has been playing better. With Purdue struggling to stay even with Ohio State E’Twaun seemed to say enough. He scored the final 13 points of the first half to give Purdue a lead that they would never give up.
JaJuan Johnson was pretty much held in check today. He really drew the attention of Ohio State. I would guard him close too after what he did in Columbus earlier this season. JJ was the offense for Purdue that day. Today he just had to occupy enough bodies so that Smooge could get open.
LewJack really seemed to take the last game personally as well. He played great defense all day, and did a good job keeping the basketball. His slash to the hoop really keeps the defense off guard.
Kelsey Barlow and Ryne Smith once again did not show up on offense. They both add a lot on the defensive side of the ball. Travis Carroll, Patrick Bade, and Sandi Marcius all put a big body on Jared Sullinger as well. I really like how Travis plays the game. He can knock down the jumper when needed too.
Ohio State had some bright spots as well. Jon Diebler broke the Big Ten three point record. The shot that broke the record was nice, but the shot that tied it was awesome. With the shot clock winding down Diebler shot while falling out of bounds. The shot was nothing but net. That put Ohio State up 11-5, and you had to wonder how the game was going to go. Purdue played well the entire shot clock only to be beat by a great shot like that. Thankfully things turned out better.
Jared Sullinger had 25 points and 6 rebounds for the Buckeyes. I have been reading about him all season as well as watching him on TV. He really is a good ballplayer. That being said I was not too impressed with him. He can play the game there is no doubt about that. I just think that he would be even better if he applied himself. What big man does not line up on the line when free throws are being shot? He would rather argue with the refs or talk to a teammate than rebound. When he was taken out of the game in the first half he did not even make it off the court until the ball was inbounded. You just did not see the hustle out of him. He is going to be very good, but it just looked like he was tired the entire game. I wonder if the same sorority girls got to him last night that got to Taylor before Wednesdays game?
The crowd was amazing today. You know the fans will be pumped before a big game, but they just kept it going the whole 40 minutes. This was once again one of the best environments that I have been in. The games just keep getting bigger and bigger, and the crowd gets better and better. The crowd was rabid at times, and it really got me going. This was a great game to see in person.
Play of the Game – A lot of moments could be the play of the game. This is my first time seeing a player score 2,000 points though so I will go with the three pointer that gave E’Twaun that mark. Reading through Twitter the Paint Crew also said that when Smooge hit that shot the stadium was the loudest (119 db) that is was all game. Smooge also had a nice and unselfish behind the back pass to Terone Johnson on a fast break that could be on here. JJ slamming the ball home from E’Twaun to seal the game was also a great play. Smooge also had a very acrobatic lay up on a play that he expected to be fouled on. The honorable mention though has to go to the Paint Crew for their rendition of ‘Party in the USA’ while Sullinger was shooting free throws.
Player of the Game – This is easy as well. I think that Patrick Bade had the game of his career. Okay the player of game is of course E’Twaun. His 38 points was half of the Boilers total on the day. The points were huge, but he seems to score them at opportune times as well. He carried the team into the halftime break with the lead by scoring the last 13. He made acrobatic lay ups when we needed a lift. He went on a five point run of his own when Ohio State cut the lead to four late. He really just had a good game. As good as Bade played I think that Smooge edged him out here.
I would love to close this post out by telling you that the ladies closed out the day with a sweep of the Buckeyes, but I can’t. That game hurt a lot. I think I will wait until tomorrow before posting about that one.