Thanks to a fellow Knucklehead I attended the second game of the season tonight for the Boilers. With my Packers on Monday Night Football I thought that I would watch the game until it got ugly, and then head home to watch the Pack. Little did I know that the game would start ugly and never really get better. Purdue just really seemed to be out of it tonight. They had trouble hanging on to the ball, and more importantly could not hit a free throw. During the game I was joking around that the team already had sun tan lotion on their hands in preparation for their trip to Puerto Rico. If not for a great night by Senior Ryne Smith I think the Boilers would be 1-1 on the season. Instead they sit at 2-0 going into the tournament. Smith nailed eight threes, but his most important shot might have been a jumper from just inside that arc that was the difference in the game. I read a lot of comments bashing Smith this past week so it was nice to see him come out and carry the team on his back. He is that little bulldog that you need out there. Scoring 26 points is nice as well.
Robbie Hummel had another nice game adding 18 for the Boilers. He did seem a little off though missing some key free throws at the end of the game. One guy can’t do it all though. I really thought early on that this would be the Anthony Johnson show tonight. He looked great early on, and then seemed to get very tentative. So far this season he is my favorite player to watch. He came out strong getting his first start, but for some reason decided to pull back the reigns. When he puts it all together I think he will be a force.
The real story tonight has to be the missed free throws for the Boilers. They only made 6 of 19. That stat does not include another miss by Hummel that was negated by a lane violation. With another chance to make up for his miss he missed another one. I have a funny feeling what might be stressed during practices in Puerto Rice. This game could have been in double digits with some made free throws, and the Panthers would not have had the window of opportunity.
Speaking of the Panthers who are these guys? They really just seemed to make everything they threw up tonight. After Robbie missed two free throws late you just knew that they were going to drive and make the three to win the game. All night long they just seemed to make everything and get every bounce off of the rim. I am still surprised that the last three did not go in. That is just the way that the game was going. For all that I say that Purdue did wrong tonight you have to give High Point credit for playing on Hell of a game. This was a great test for Purdue, and thankfully they passed it. Now for a reward they get Iona in Puerto Rico. I saw Iona end Valpo’s season last year so I hope that Purdue can take care of this pesky team.
Tomorrow I will sit down and go through my pictures to put up a gallery. It is just too late tonight, and the Pack are on TV. I tried something new with my camera tonight, and from what I have seen the results are a little better. Of course I had pretty good seats to shoot from.