Friday, February 26, 2010
Cousins, Kentucky Get Revenge; Hummel Out for Season
Avenging their only loss of the season, the #2 Kentucky Wildcats cruised past SEC leading-scorer Devan Downey and his South Carolina teammates for an 82-61 win, boosting their gaudy record to 27-1 and 12-1 in the conference.
The Gamecocks had no answers for Kentucky's powerful front line, as DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson ruled the lane on both ends of the floor. Cousins finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, his 18th double-double of the season. Patterson provided a team-high 23 points, 8 boards and 4 blocked shots.
Kentucky leads Vanderbilt by 2 games in the SC East, with 3 to play, though their remaining games are against Tennessee, Georgia and Florida, among the best in the league, though the Wildcats have already beaten each of them. The Tennessee and Georgia games are on the road. Kentucky finishes their regular season at home, hosting Florida.
Notable: In the midst of one of the best seasons in school history, the Purdue Boilermakers suffered a devastating blow as star forward Robbie Hummel has been ruled out of the season with a torn ACL. The injury took place in Purdue's 59-58 win over Minnesota Wednesday night.
With just three games left in the regular season, the Boilermakers lead the Big Ten at 10-3, though they face a tough test Sunday when they host Michigan State. A loss by Purdue opens the door for both the Spartans and Ohio State to capture the conference title. Purdue was ranked #3 - their highest ranking of the season - and has won 10 straight Big Ten games after dropping their first three.
The blow to the Boilermakers will be significant. Hummel was second on the squad in minutes, scoring and rebounding. He was CBD's Player of the Day three times this season.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Purdue, Hummel Ready for Big Time
Tthe race for first place in the Big Ten conference is now down to three teams - Purdue, Ohio State and Michigan State. After Saturday's 75-65 victory over Illinois, it now appears that the Boilermakers have the upper hand heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.
Robbie Hummel posted his sixth double-double of the season, scoring 22 points and snatching 12 rebounds for Purdue, which won for the 9th straight time, including wins over conference rivals Wisconsin, Michigan St. and Ohio State. At 11-3, the Boilermakers are tied with the Spartans, a game ahead of the Buckeyes (10-4) and two games better than Wisconsin (9-5).
With just four games remaining on their slate, the only obstacles between Purdue and the Big Ten regular season championship are their next two games: at Minnesota on Wednesday and home for a rematch with Michigan State on Sunday, Feb. 28. Should they manage to win both of those games, the championship would likely belong to them, along with a possible #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Purdue has not won the regular season title since 1996, when they won their third straight, then under coach Gene Keady.
That was before the conference installed a post-season tournament. The Boilermakers won that last season under head coach Matt Painter, and look to win both the regular season and tournament titles this time around.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Turner Outduels Hummel; Ohio St. Outlasts Purdue
After missing 6 games due to injury, Evan Turner entered his third game back as the Ohio State Buckeyes traveled to face Purdue in a key Big Ten tilt. But even he couldn't have expected Robbie Hummel to score 29 first half points, hitting 8 of 10 3-pointers, before going on to a game-high 35. Hummel's eight 3's in a half tied a Purdue record set by Cuonzo Martin in a 1994 Sweet 16 win over Kansas, but the second half belonged to Turner and the Buckeyes, who scrapped back and eventually tied the game at 62 on a Turner trey and went on to win, 70-66, handing the Boilermakers their second loss of the season. For the Buckeyes, the game was their first road win of the season, and second conference win in five tries. Turner, who scored 23 in the second half, finished with 32, plus 9 rebounds and 3 assists.
Hummel scored 18 straight points heading into the half before E'Twaun Moore's layup with 5 seconds left put Purdue up, 41-29, at the break, but was stymied in the second, scoring four points within the first two minutes, but then being held scoreless by Ohio State's best defender, David Lighty, until he canned a pair of free throws with 22 second left in the game and Ohio State already ahead. Hummel dislocated a finger on his non-shooting hand late in the game and missed some key court time. He had ten rebounds.
The scoring outbursts by Hummel and Turner were both personal season highs, Turner's a career best.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Purdue Powers Past Minnesota; Texas Tested
Robbie Hummel, Purdue's 6'8" junior forward, has been hailed as one of the best players in college basketball ever since he took the floor as a true freshman two years ago. Now, with the Boilermakers a perfect 14-0 after grounding Minnesota's Golden Gophers, 79-60, Hummel is being mentioned prominently in player of the year discussions.
Scoring in double figures for the 13th time in 14 games (he had 9 points in an 85-60 win at St. Joseph's back in November), Hummel and teammate E'Twaun Moore each scored a game-high 18 points as the Boilermakers shot 52% from the field while holding Minnesota to an ugly 31% shooting. Hummel also ripped down 11 boards, along with 3 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocked shots.
Purdue took a 35-28 lead into the break and then blistered the Gophers in the second stanza, shooting 65% from the floor. The 14 wins to open the season matched Purdue's 1993-94 start when Glenn Robinson led the Boilermakers to the first of three straight Big Ten championships and a finish in the Elite eight of the NCAA tournament under coach Gene Keady.
Last season, Purdue won the Big Ten tournament and reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA's, finishing the season with a 27-10 record.
NOTABLE:Plagued by foul trouble, Texas forward Damion James still managed to put up 20 points with 9 rebounds in just 17 minutes to help the #2 Longhorns pull away late from a determined Arkansas squad, 96-85. Dexter Pittman had 21 points as the Longhorns won their 14th game without a loss.
On the other side of the coin, #15 New Mexico suffered tis second loss of the season (14-2), dropping a 74-64 decision to conference foe San Diego State (12-3). It was the Lobos' second loss in their last four games and raises questions about their ability to endure over the long haul, especially against the expected challenge in the Mountain West from teams such as BYU, UNLV and Air Force, not to mention the Aztecs, who got 18 points and 15 rebounds from Malcolm Thomas in Tuesday's win.