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November 16, 2012
NEW YORK CITY - After a, shall we say, interesting loss to Villanova Thursday night here at the 2K Sports Classic, Purdue might find out some things about itself this evening at 5 p.m. when it faces Oregon State in the event's consolation game.
Thursday night's loss saw Purdue blow an eight-point lead with just a minute-and-a-half left in regulation then lose in overtime. A controversial flagrant foul called against D.J. Byrd added a layer of circumstance to the loss.
"We can't blame the referees," point guard Ronnie Johnson said. "We have to keep pushing. We should have gotten that win.
"It's definitely frustration (in the locker room). But we can't stay focused on this. We have to come out and get that win tomorrow, and not repeat those mistakes."
That's the challenge for Purdue against Oregon State every bit as much as the Beavers' huge front line or its high-scoring point guard are.
"We've had a game like this almost every year I've been here, and it's the first tournament of the year," Terone Johnson said. "And we have more younger guys now than we've had in the past. Those guys are going to have a lot more composure and take a (lesson) from this."
Byrd said what was so agonizing about the 'Nova loss - beyond the uncommon circumstances on the final minute-and-a-half - was how the Boilermakers squandered a game in which they'd done some very good things in the second half and showed real signs of progress in rallying back from a 10-point second half hole.
Friday, Purdue finds out if it's buoyant enough to bounce back from such disappointment in the span of less than 24 hours.
"I guess we'll find out tomorrow," Byrd said after the Villanova game. "That's the main thing. It's a difficult thing, such a short turnaround to get our minds right for tomorrow against a good Oregon State team."
G: Ronnie Johnson
G: Terone Johnson
F: D.J. Byrd
F: Donnie Hale
C: Sandi Marcius
G: Ahmad Starks (5-9, 165)
G: Roberto Nelson (6-3, 195)
F: Angus Brandt (6-10, 242)
F: Joe Burton (6-7, 295)
C: Eric Moreland (6-10, 215)
Oregon State took Alabama down to the wire last night before falling 65-62 and dropping to 2-1. Leading scorer Ahmad Starks is a Chicago native and former teammate of Purdue's Anthony Johnson at Whitney Young. center Eric Moreland is averaging 11 rebounds through three games and fellow big man Angus Brandt is at 8.3 forward Joe Burton added to a sizeable front line with his nearly 300-pound, mailbox-ish physique. Devon Collier came off the bench to score 21 against Alabama Beaver coach Craig Robinson is President Barack Obama's brother-in-law, the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama.
About Purdue: Roster | Schedule | Statistics (2011-12)
About Oregon State: Roster | Schedule | Statistics (2011-12)
Game time: 5 p.m.
Radio: Purdue Sports Network (95.7 FM locally)
Internet: GoldandBlack.com subscribers can follow along live with our in-game blog, "Game Day Live."
Five things to think about
1. As noted above, how does Purdue respond to what most observers perceived to be the raw deal it got in the final minutes against Villanova, while also managing its first tournament-format short turnaround?
2. Can the interior game click? Purdue got the ball inside early against Villanova and generated good looks, but struggled to finish. Oregon State is really big.
3. Likewise, was the Boilermakers' distinct advantage in physicality and tenacity on the glass against Villanova a sign of things to come or an anomaly? Purdue hopes for the former.
4. Turnovers there have been far too many.
5. Can Purdue stay out of foul trouble? The bad ones really piled up against Villanova and cost the Boilermakers in the end.
GoldandBlack.com Prediction: This could go one of two ways, but in the absence of knowing, we'll continue to give Purdue the benefit of the doubt. It did some very, very good things against Villanova.
Purdue 66, Oregon State 60
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