WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana — Purdue seemed on track for another convincing victory in front of a home crowd at McKee Arena in the first half of Sunday’s game against Maryland.
Playing their third game of the week, the Boilermakers welcomed the Terrapins to West Lafayette and shrugged off a stingy defense to take a 16-point lead before leading 35-21 at halftime.
But that big advantage was quickly whittled away after the break. A combination of Maryland’s full-court press and zone-man combinations on the defensive side of the court began to dampen Purdue’s offense.
The Terrapins closed the gap by forcing mistakes while leveraging layups and dunks on the open court. The Boilermakers finished the game with 15 turnovers in a game that never trailed. It was something the team could have put away early, but instead another Big Ten matchup settled.
“We felt like we did really well in terms of giving them a lot of shots they weren’t used to,” said Maryland manager Kevin Willard. “I think that’s one of the reasons why we had so many offensive rebounds. They usually had some guys in very fluid positions when running offense. , I thought we did a good job of keeping them from being so fluid.”
As has been done all season, Purdue won on the grass and got to the free throw line on their way to victory. But by the end of the game, Maryland had four more possessions than the Boilermakers. This included a chance to tie the game in the final seconds.
Despite the scare, the home side won 58-55. There is no question that Purdue performed at a high level while playing selfless basketball. That style is ingrained in the players by head coach Matt Painter.
But no matter how efficiently individual pieces perform on any given game day, your odds of winning can quickly decline when your mistakes stack up.
“Personally, I think it’s just limiting turnovers,” Purdue freshman point guard Brayden Smith said after the game. Second, I have to be better than that.”
Looking only at the second half, Purdue and Maryland were dead on the board as well, with 18 rebounds each (10 on defense and 8 on offense). However, the Terrapins attempted five more shots and scored six points on eight turnovers by the Boilermakers.
Maryland delayed Smith and senior guard David Jenkins Jr. from flooring the ball, running out time off the shot clock and preventing Purdue from running the set in sufficient time.
With precious seconds ticking away, the Terrapins transitioned seamlessly from zone defense to man-to-man.
“They were in that zone and matched up about 10 or 15 seconds on the shot clock,” said Ethan Morton, a junior guard at Purdue University. Their ability to switch defenses on the fly was tough, but it just knocked us out of our rhythm.”
Every Purdue player who saw the floor in the first half scored at least one basket. But in the second case this was hardly the case. Junior His center Zach Eady scored his 13th after halftime and never left the court, during which time he turned the ball over three times.
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When an opportunity presented itself on the perimeter, no shooter took advantage of it. The team scored three points for him as he finished 13 for 2 from the line and finished 6 for 0 from the Deep after halftime.
“Just make a good pass. Get ready to shoot the basketball,” Painter said. “They take stuff, they put the ball in and clamp it. They pass out the basketball and keep playing simple. For double teams and triple teams, it’s a simple game.”
Luckily for Purdue, Eddie went unmatched in the first half, scoring 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting, pulling down 16 rebounds and making 4-of-6 from the foul line. bottom. Despite a team-high five turnovers, he was the only player in the Boilermakers to score in double digits.
This was Eady’s fourth game of the season with at least 24 points and 16 rebounds. The rest of the country combined he is 11 with no more than 1 player. This performance gave Edy her 16th double-double.
“If you get 24 and 16 in your average game, you know you’re a good player,” Painter said of Eady. “Because he was fine today.”
In addition to Edey’s turnover, Smith has dealt the ball three times and three others have had it at least once. The Terrapins cut the deficit to just one point in the second half before Smith sealed the game with four free throws in his final four minutes.
The Boilermakers went 16/18 from the foul line and scored eight in the final ten minutes, but struggled with shots from the floor.
Purdue University now has a film to study its mistakes to mitigate against opposing teams trying to mirror Maryland’s success.
“It’s a different look when you get into the Zone vs. Man,” Eddie said. But the team may start doing it against us.I need to be ready for anything.Looks like I might get.
But for now, the Boilermakers can breathe a sigh of relief after improving to 19-1 overall and 8-1 in the conference. Every other Big Ten team has suffered at least his three losses in league play, and Purdue is comfortably in the driver’s seat for the time being.
For the rest of the season, this team will only get the best shots of their opponents. What Boilermakers can’t afford to do is beat themselves up if they want to stay in control of the meeting.
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