The Purdue Boilermakers’ disappointing season culminated Monday night with a loss to Santa Clara, 86-83.
I could go into a overall season recap, but I think I will save that for later. Monday night’s game was won by Santa Clara’s Kevin Foster, plain and simple. Foster is school’s all-time leading scorer with over 2,000 points for his career. Head coach Matt Painter said that he was the best scorer his team has faced all season, including Trey Burke. While Burke may be the best player in the country, Foster is the best scoring two-guard, Painter said.He scored 28 second-half points after going just 2-for-9 and scoring six points in the first half.
I had honestly never even heard of Foster before Monday’s game, but he sure deserved all the compliments he was getting from Painter last Friday during his media teleconference. The dagger three that Foster hit with about 30 seconds left to extend the lead to 5, 83-78, was extremely contested and he hit it with no problem.
But Purdue should have won the game.
It outrebounded the Broncos, outscored them in fast break points, outscored them in second-chance points; all the categories that are good indicators of a win, Purdue won. It just didn’t win the ultimate decider, the end score.
The Boilermakers struggled coming out in the first half and more importantly the second, when they fell victim to a 26-12 run in the first 10 minutes. Santa Clara started hitting shots it just simply missed in the first. That run was ultimately too much to overcome for Purdue, an its season ended in a CBI second round exit. Ronnie Johnson scored a career high 27 points and his brother added 22 which were bright spots. But A.J. Hammons was a no show in a game that he could have dominated — Santa Clara’s frontline was not very good, and it lacked size and depth. Rapheal Davis didn’t score, although he did grab nine rebounds.
Maybe it is good that the season ended, who knows. Players can focus on what they need to do to get better for next season. One thing is for sure, next season needs to be better or else fans will start to get uneasy about the state of this program.