Friday, March 29, 2013

Basketball Recap - CBI Elite Eight: Santa Clara 86 - Purdue 83

3,629 fans and a few diehard internet streamers saw the end of the worst Boilermaker basketball season since 2006.  For those that were able to see it, the game was unlike any Purdue fans had seen this year and had one of the wildest finishes imaginable.  Santa Clara hit what seemed to be a dozen "daggers", yet somehow the Boilers had two shots to tie it at the end of the game.

Kevin Foster was dominant - probably since he was twice as tall as any Purdue defender

Admittedly, I didn't find the stream until nearly halftime (I listened to the radio feed before that), as I had no interest in paying $10 for a shoddy feed.  If I HAD paid?  This post would have been written 4 days from now, because I would have spent an entire week trying to get my money back. More on this in a bit...

Purdue seemed to take control at the half after a really slow start with 4 turnovers and only 2 points at the first tv timeout.  Threes were not falling for the Boilers, but they did close the half on an 18-7 run.

The second half was a different story.  Broncos guard Kevin Foster put on a show for the ages as he scored 29 of his 35 points in the second half, including several shots with Boilermakers all over him.  Purdue couldn't keep up despite a career-high 27 points from Ronnie Johnson and 22 from brother Terone (while taking combined 43 shots!), and found itself down 10 with 1:55 to go.

That's when things started to get interesting.  A layup, steal, and another layup by Ronnie Johnson put the Boilers within 6.  An immediate foul led to two Santa Clara free throws, but was followed up by a 3-point play by Marcius.  Purdue was intent on extending the game, but the Broncos kept making their free throws.  Down 7 with 1:20 left, Ronnie Johnson got yet another layup.  A steal by Byrd then led to Ronnie's 4th layup in 45 seconds - this one with a foul.  All the sudden, Purdue was down 2 with a minute to play and no longer had to foul!

A great defensive possession brought the shot clock down under 10, when none other than Kevin Foster hit a fade away three with Terone Johnson in his face.  Foster had just beaten the Boilermakers.  Or so everyone had thought.  After a wild possession with an offensive rebound, Terone hit a miracle runner in the lane and got the foul as well.  19 seconds left and down 2, Santa Clara was ready to inbound the ball.  What happened next?  Hell if I know.  Now seems like the perfect time to rant against BTDN...

BTDN collected $10 from several people on Monday who wanted to watch this game.  In return, BTDN tapped into the scoreboard video and Purdue radio feeds.  The fact that these were synced up was pretty cool, however the video feed was awful.  Camera angles appeared to be chosen by third graders, resulting in numerous missed plays.  But the absolute worst was at the point of the game I just left off at.  19 seconds, big inbounds pass.  All the sudden, the words "MAKE SOME NOISE!!!" and "LOUDER" come flashing across the screen, completely obscuring anything that was happening on the court.  This means "viewers" were stuck with Cliz describing the huge steal the Boilers got at this point.  And they were ALSO stuck with the description of the shot Purdue missed after that steal.  Embarrassing...if I had paid for this and missed the two biggest plays of the game, I would be demanding my money back.

After the missed shot, Santa Clara made two more free throws which appeared to ice the game once again.  This gave the Boilers an opportunity to try their full court football pass play, which amazingly worked to perfection. 4 seconds remained, and Purdue was down two.   Kevin Foster finally missed a free throw and DJ Byrd threw a perfect pass to a streaking Terone Johnson.  Somehow, Terone got a normal-looking three pointer off to tie the game from just behind the arc.  It just missed.  Had that shot gone, it would've capped one of the craziest finishes Purdue has ever been a part of.

Santa Clara went on to beat Wright State last night and gets at least 2 more games against George Mason.  Meanwhile, the Boilers bow out of the tourney getting only 2 games out of the deal.  A disappointing end to a disappointing season - we'll have more over the next couple of weeks.

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