Over the past 30 hours, three ranked Big Ten teams fell to unranked foes. Purdue wasn’t about to be the fourth.
Illinois failed to knock off the No. 14 Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena on Wednesday night, losing by a final score of 73-56. The didn’t have much to lose heading into the matchup against Purdue on Wednesday night except snapping an 11-year losing streak in West Lafayette. Postseason aspirations can pretty much be thrown out the window after dropping back-to-back games to Wisconsin and Penn State, but beating a good Purdue team on its own floor would have been good for the soul.
The Illini (10-18, 6-11 Big Ten) haven’t beat the Boilermakers (21-7, 14-3 Big Ten) on the road since 2008, and Purdue has yet to a suffer a loss at home this season either. But, that wasn’t on the forecast today.
It was a complete team effort in the first half for Illinois. Nine guys got in the scoring column with five different players (Aaron Jordan, Andres Feliz, Tevian Jones, Trent Frazier, and Da’Monte Williams) cashing in from deep. Jordan, Jones, and Feliz led the Illini with five points, while Matt Haarms’ 10 points (5-of-5 from the field) and Carsen Edwards’ nine paced Purdue.
The Boilermakers really began to extend their lead with a little less than ten minutes to go. A 12-0 run broke a 48-48 tie and killed any momentum the Illini had at a comeback. No Illini would finish in double figures, and that was evident with the team’s second half offensive struggles.
MOMENTS THAT MATTER
- The Boilermakers cruised to a 12-2 run to start the second half, never giving up the driver’s seat in this contest again.
- This moment didn’t really matter, but when Giorgi Bezhanishvili fouled out with roughly five minutes to go, he had some fun with Purdue’s “Paint Crew.” On his walk back to the bench, the student section started their “left, right, left, right, SIT DOWN!” chant. Except Giorgi stayed standing for a full seven minutes before the Purdue fans got that satisfaction.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Members of Orange Krush, including TCR’s very own Jacob Rajlich, arrived at Mackey Arena in Purdue garb, but then took it off and showed off the orange.
OH YOU THOUGHT WE WEREN’T GONNA COME THROUGH? pic.twitter.com/9qLT1WUaO5— The Orange Krush (@TheOrangeKrush) February 28, 2019
Oh yeah, their shirts are pretty cool too.
Illinois shirt AND a train shirt? With a built-in heckle? I dig it! pic.twitter.com/9uTCBN20fQ— Jacob Rajlich (@MJ_Rajlich) February 28, 2019
The Illini get a rematch against last-place Northwestern at home this Sunday evening. Since beating Illinois the Wildcats (12-15, 3-13) have lost eight straight and 10 of their last 12.
Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. CT.
For vintage inspired, high quality, and well-designed University of Illinois apparel, check out Fourth and Kirby, and look for the TCR Collection while you’re at it!