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December 1, 2012

Shot in the foot

Listen: Matt Painter | Terone Johnson, Donnie Hale and Ronnie Johnson | Terone Johnson | Xavier coach Chris Mack

PDF: Purdue-Xavier Box Score

Wednesday night at Clemson, Purdue shot itself into an important win.

Saturday afternoon in Mackey Arena, it shot itself right out of one.

The Boilermakers pulled a rare feat in missing all 17 of the three-pointers they tried in a 63-57 loss to Xavier.

D.J. Byrd, who made six threes in the first half at Clemson in a 22-point game, was 0-for-9.

According to analyst Ken Pomeroy, it was the 23rd time in the past decade that a team attempted 16 or more threes in a game and missed all of them.

Was that shooting the sole reason Purdue wasted a huge rebounding advantage and lost on its home floor for the second time in four tries? No. But it was a huge part of it.

"We have to get the ball inside more," said Terone Johnson, who contributed four of those missed threes, but led Purdue with 19 points. "We had some guys who took some bad shots at crucial points in the game and it came back to bite us."

Later, he added, "Not being disciplined is why we lost."

More specifically, that issue might have been the reason Purdue bogged down offensively when it mattered most, and thus lost.

Not being able to stop Semaj Christon - "He's one of the best freshmen in the country," X coach Chris Mack said of Christon after he dropped 25 in his first-ever road game - didn't help, either. Nor did the fact Purdue fouled on four and-one shots.

“I think we lead the country in fouling people for three-point plays,” Coach Matt Painter said.

But it was a six-minute stretch late in the second half that really undercut Purdue's chances.

The Boilermakers went from the 9:13 mark to the 3:10 mark without scoring, missing a pair of one-and-one attempts from the foul line in that time.

"We were kind of shooting some bad shots," point guard Ronnie Johnson said, after scoring 12 points, "but they also got some steals on the inside. We have to take better care of the ball and we have to take better shots."

Purdue missed 10 threes in the first half.

“You have to swallow your pride,” Painter said, “when you’re 0-for-10 at the half. We talked about being more patient and selective and getting the ball inside and probe the defense and we didn’t do that. We had to drive and get two feet in the paint, then play inside-outside basketball.”

Typical of the inconsistency that’s stricken Purdue this young season as it breaks in several freshmen and slides various returnees into different roles, the Boilermakers’ shooting went from white hot in South Carolina to ice cold in West Lafayette.

“It’s frustrating when you work on your offense and you work on being patient and things of that nature and you get into a game like Clemson and you make shots,” Painter said. “That could be fool’s gold, because if the ball doesn’t go in, you still run offense the same way, because the offense technically is the same; it’s just that the ball isn’t going in. That’s what we talked to our guys about, that we had some things go our way (at Clemson), but if it doesn’t go our way, you still have to be patient. You take what you get in transition and take what you can get off the glass, but in the halfcourt, you have to get quality shots. When you struggle like that, you don’t shoot quicker. You be more patient. We weren’t.”

One advantage Purdue did carry over from Clemson was rebounding, where it beat the Musketeers on the boards 44-29.

“As a team, when you out-rebound somebody by 15 on your home court, you should win the game,” Painter said. “We didn’t take advantage of that.”

Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2012. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.

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