Saturday, March 5, 2011

Purdue falls victim to the dreaded "trap game"

Purdue at plenty to play for.

They still had a shot at winning a share of the Big Ten regular season title. They were in the running for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Those things matter.

Yet the Boilermakers got out worked and out played by a team that had nothing to play for but a senior night victory. The Iowa Hawkeyes, who improved to 4-14 in the Big Ten with the 67-65 win, out-rebounded Purdue 48-40 and forced the Boilermakers into 32.6% shooting and a 5-25 performance from three.

"Our effort wasn't as good as Iowa's," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "They made more hustle plays there at the end."

"They played harder than us. It sucks to say that at this point in the year, but they really did," said JaJuan Johnson. "It's just how we respond to it. It could be a blessing in disguise."

That is not what you want to hear from your head coach and your player of the year candidate if you are a Purdue fan.

I don't like the term trap game, but its really difficult not to believe that the Boilermakers overlooked the Hawkeyes. They had won seven straight games, which included wins over Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Illinois twice. Their next time out is the Big Ten Tournament, which kicks off on Thursday.

There is no way that Purdue came into this game thinking about Iowa.

Because if they did, there is no way that these Boilermakers would have lost to these Hawkeyes.

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