football

Rivalry newbies come up big

Surprisingly,theyfoundthemselvestogetheraloneinthelockerroombeforePurdue'sgameagainstIndianaSaturday.
Allthenewcomerstotherivalry,thefirst-yearBoilermakerswho'dyettoexperiencehowbrutal,howchippy,howemotionalitcouldget.
Andtheycametoanagreement:TheyweregoingtodowhateverittooktohelpPurduesnapitsfour-gamelosingstreaktothehatedHoosiers.
"Itwasagoodmoment,"freshmanBrysonScottsaidofthegatheringinthelockerroom."Allofusfirst-yearguys,wereallywantedtohelp.Wejustputourindividualsasideandcametogetherasaunit.
"Wereallywantedtohelpthemfromlastyearaftertheykindofgaveittothem.Wewantedtotrytogiveittothem.Wereallywantedtotrytocomeoutthereandhaveagoodgame."
Didtheyeverdeliver,fuelingan82-64rout.
Fifth-yearseniortransferSterlingCarter"showedout"withaseason-high19points,includingscoringtheteam'sfirst10inthesecondhalf.
Scotthadfourassists,threeconsecutiveinaspurtinthefirsthalf,andneverstoppedfighting,highlightedbyaphysicaltie-upinthesecondhalf.
Fifth-yearseniorErrickPeckhelpedclearspacetofacilitatefreshmanBasilSmotherman'skeymomentumplayattheendofthefirsthalfonthefree-throw-missputback.
FreshmanKendallStephens,knownforhispinpointperimetershooting,blockedateam-highthreeshotsandhadathree-pointplayafteranoffensivereboundtip-in.
"Ourfirst-yearguysdidaprettygoodjob,"CoachMattPaintersaid."Itwasgoodforourguys."
Carterwastheloneplayerofthegroupwhodidn'tknowmuchabouttherivalrybeforejoiningtheteamthisseason.EvenPeck,theothertransfer,isanIndianapolisnativewhoserootswiththerivalryrundeep-asin,hisentirefamilyareHoosierfans.
Butitdidn'ttakelongforCartertosummontheemotionneededinsuchabiggame.
Lessthanoneminuteintothegame,Carterracedtotipapassandthendovetotrytosaveit,ultimatelyforcinganIndianaturnover.Aboutoneminutelater,hedrilledathree-pointerfromthewing.Anotherminutelaterhesnatchedastealonadeflection.
Helitthefusetostartthesecondhalf,too,stickingathree-pointerfromthecornerafteraquickpassonaninboundplay.Thenheslippedthroughthelaneonadriveandgotaleftylay-in.Thenanotherthree-pointerfromthewing-offapassfromPeckagainstthezone-togivehim14points,surpassinghispreviousseasonhighof13.
Carterhadonlymade3-of-22three-pointersinhispreviouseightgames.AgainsttheHoosiers,hemadefiveofsix.
"Iwasrealcomfortable.Iwasinrhythm,justplayinghard,andmyshotstartedtofall,sowhynotkeepshooting?"Cartersaid."I'mnotfromIndiana,buttheseguysallowedmetoseehowpassionatethisrivalrywas,andI'mjustgladtobeheretohelpthemgetthevictory."
IndiananativeScottknewplentyabouttherivalry,andheadmittedtosomenervesbeforethegametoplayinit.Butheshookthemprettyquicklyandgotfocused.
Itpaidoffduringaspurtthatstartedwithfiveminutesleftinthefirsthalf,withPurduetrailing.
Aftertakingabadjumpshot-somethinghe'sbeentryingtodolessofastheseasonhasprogressed-Scottsnappedbackinto"sacrifice"modeanddishedtoTeroneJohnsonforathreeoffadrive.Lessthanoneminutelater,Scottdrovehardmiddleagainbutpulledupnearthefreethrowline,turnedandscoopedanotherpasstoJohnson,whohadthespacetohitanotherthree-pointerwhileScottscreenedoutadefender.
AfterScottgrabbedareboundoffanIndianamiss,hepushedandgottheballtoSmothermanonano-lookpassunderthebasketfora31-29lead.
"Iwasrealhappy.Thatwassomethingthat'sneverhappenedbefore,"Scottofthethree-consecutive-assiststretch."Theyweren'tgettingbackondefense,somygoalwasjusttoattackandifIcouldgetalayup,getalayup,butIsawotherpeopleopen.IjustwantedtogettheminvolvedifIcouldandgetmyselfinvolvedifIcould,buttheyhappenedtomakemelookgoodwiththeshotstheymade."
PerhapsScott'sdefiningmoment,though,willbewhathappenedat13:27ofthesecondhalf.
AfterIndiana'sWillSheeheymissedashot,ScottwenttotrackdownthereboundandgottiedupwithRobinson.Thetwoyankedattheball,butitwasScottwhoultimatelyrippeditaway,drawingpraisefromthepackedhouseinMackey.Somejabberingensued,andScottwaspulledawaybyteammates.
Butthemessagewassent:Scottwasn'tgoingtogiveupthefight.Notagainstthatteam.
"Ijustdidn'twanthimtohavetheball.Byanymeans,Iwantedtogetthatball,"Scottsaid,smiling."Iwasextrapumpedoutthere.
"Thiswasrealbigforus.Wereallyenjoyedthisone.Itwasarealgoodone."
Copyright,Boilers,Inc.2014.AllRightsReserved.Reproducingorusingeditorialorgraphicalcontent,inwholeorinpart,withoutpermission,isstrictlyprohibited.E-mailGoldandBlack.com/Boilers,Inc.
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