Looking to Bounce Back

Purdue has had more than enough time to regroup from its first loss in more than a month.

The 16th-ranked Boilermakers look to bounce back from their most recent defeat in their first action in eight days when they host Minnesota in a Big Ten matchup on Wednesday night.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Purdue –8 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that X% of bets for this game have been placed on X (View College Basketball bet percentages).

Purdue (21-6, 12-2) lost 77-68 at then-No. 15 Indiana on Feb. 19 in its most recent contest. The loss snapped the Boilermakers' 11-game winning streak dating to a 78-75 loss at then-No. 6 Michigan State on Jan. 8.

Despite the loss, the Boilermakers are just one-half game out of first place as they remain in the mix for the Big Ten title with No. 10 Wisconsin and the 12th-ranked Hoosiers.

Of Purdue's four remaining games, only one - at Ohio State on March 4 - is against a team with a winning record in Big Ten play.

On Wednesday, though, the Boilermakers look for a better effort after shooting 34.7 percent - their lowest in Big Ten play - and being outrebounded 46-30 against the Hoosiers.

Purdue managed to stay close despite shooting 31 percent in the first half, by forcing 23 turnovers for the game. The Boilermakers, though, shot 7-for-29 from 3-point range, 11-for-21 from the free-throw line and committed 26 fouls.

"We made careless mistakes, putting our hands on guys," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "We had so many situations where if we get a stop, we could take the lead, and then we'd foul."

Robbie Hummel had 17 points and six rebounds for the Boilermakers, who haven't won a Big Ten title since 1995-96. The 6-foot-8 Hummel, who averages 11.5 points and is part of the team's talented group of freshmen, is averaging 17.6 points in his last five games.

Purdue, which allowed an average of 59.1 points during its winning streak, gave up more than 70 for just the second time in 12 games in its last contest.

The Boilermakers return home Wednesday looking for their 12th consecutive victory over a Big Ten opponent at Mackey Arena and their third in a row there against Minnesota in the teams' only scheduled meeting in 2007-08.

Purdue beat the Gophers 66-47 at home last Feb. 28 in the teams' most recent meeting.

While Purdue is in the hunt for a Big Ten title, Minnesota (17-9, 7-7) looks to get on a run to bolster its NCAA tournament resume. The Gophers will try for their third straight win after a 75-68 home victory over Penn State on Sunday.

Despite its recent success, Minnesota is 0-5 versus ranked opponents this season and while it's 3-3 on the road in the Big Ten, those wins have come at Penn State, Michigan and Northwestern.

"We've got a tough team in Purdue coming up," said Minnesota guard Lawrence Westbrook, who had a team-high 15 points Sunday. "We want to win every game and make it to the tournament. Purdue is a good team, but they're college players just like us. We think we can win."

On Sunday, the Gophers shook off a sluggish first half by shooting 45.5 percent and forcing 17 Penn State turnovers to earn the victory.

Dan Coleman, Minnesota's leader with 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, had 10 with seven boards Sunday. The 6-9 senior averaged 11.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in two games versus Purdue in 2006-07.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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