Quantcast 2010 Purdue Boilermakers Basketball: Purdue vs Northwestern

Purdue Basketball 2010

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Purdue Boilermakers vs Northwestern Wildcats Basketball Recap

Purdue 82, Northwestern 69

The Purdue Boilermakers are not a better team without Robbie Hummel. However, they underrated part of this Big Ten title contender is that it’s doing appreciably well without him.

Yes, it’s tricky to analyze Coach Matt Painter’s ballclub. Purdue isn’t benefiting from the absence of Hummel, the star swingman who would have made the Boilers a leading Final Four contender this season. However, there is reason to praise the boys from West Lafayette, Indiana. They are definitely making the best of their situation, crafting a monument to perseverance without the full complement of options Hummel would have brought to the table.

Purdue Boilermakers Apparel Friday afternoon against the Northwestern Wildcats, Purdue showed just how workmanlike it can be. Without a whole lot of flash or glamour, the Boilermakers – playing in the cozy confines of Mackey Arena – used a no-frills approach to grind down their conference foe from Evanston, Illinois. If there’s a simple difference between Purdue and Northwestern, it’s simply that the Boilers – in keeping with their burly human mascot (to go along with the locomotive that’s part of the team’s logo) – own a lot more muscle near the tin than Coach Bill Carmody’s Wildcats. Northwestern might be brainy and clever under the guidance of a coach who used to work the bench at Princeton, but Purdue preferred a simpler approach on the last day of 2010: punching Northwestern in the teeth.

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Yes, this game’s difference-making element was as subtle as that. The Boilermakers shoved the Wildcats out of the way and got to many more loose balls. The overall rebounding total gave PU a 35-25 advantage, and the offensive glass also went to the Boilers by a 12-7 tally. Had it not been for Northwestern’s Drew Crawford – who snagged 10 boards by himself – Purdue would have registered an even bigger bloodbath on the backboard. As it was, seven Boilermakers grabbed at least three boards, compared to just four who did the same thing for the Wildcats. Northwestern center Luke Mirkovic scored 16 points, but he grabbed only one rebound in 29 minutes on the floor. At the center and power forward positions, Purdue was able to do what it wanted near the tin. As a result, the home team earned 17 more foul shots (33 to 16) and made 14 more (23 to 9). In a 13-point game, yeah, that made quite an impact.

Purdue is showing mental strength by winning without its superstar player. The Boilermakers are reminding the Big Ten, though, that they can be physically strong as well. An ability to rebound – in the mind and on the glass – is serving Purdue well as the Big Ten season develops.


By Matthew Zemek
BigTen-fans.com Staff Writer



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