On a weekend that was filled with close games, Purdue’s effort against the Golden Gopher broke the trend. The 69-42 blowout that Minnesota was by far the most lopsided of the weekend, and by taking down their second top 15 opponent in as many days, Minnesota has kept their once unlikely tournament hopes alive.
From the start Minnesota seemed much more prepared than Purdue, and locked down on defense in a way that apparently the Boilermakers were completely unprepared for. It was, to say the least a surprisingly poor offensive first half for Purdue, scoring only 11 points, 2 of which came from a last second JaJuan Johnson tip in. At half, Purdue trailed by an astonishing 26 points.
Johnson was the only bright spot for the Boilers, as the rest of the starting line up combined for 2-23 shooting. To make matters worse, both E’Twaun Moore and Lewis Jackson both left the floor with injuries, with Jackson not returning.
Minnesota, for their part once again relied on quality play from its two big men, Colton Iverson and Ralph Sampson III, who combined for 24 points and 11 rebounds.
The Gophers advance to their first Big Ten Tournament final, and in doing so have collected a pair of wins against highly ranked teams, with #5 Ohio State coming tomorrow. While it is unclear if today’s win has gotten them in or not, a win tomorrow would give the Gophers the Big Ten’s automatic bid, which would surely make a lot of bubble teams very nervous come tomorrow night.