ESPN said the biggest upset of the tournament was going to come from the Siena Saints as they battled the Purdue Boilermakers. Everyone from your father, mother, sister, brother, great grandma, your second cousin's wife twice removed, Obama, and of course Digger Phelps, had Siena bouncing past the Boilermakers.
Purdue coming off a middle school basketball type night against Minnesota, losing 69 to 42, in a performance where the score didn't show how lopsided the game was. The Boilermakers scored only 11 points in the first half of the game, likewise causing people to doubt their ability to score.
Purdue came out slow but continued to battle in the true Purdue style as the pressure defense that separates the Boilermakers from other schools was in full force, as they beat Siena, 72 to 64.
After trailing at halftime, Purdue came out on a mission to win.
Fueled by Sophomore Guard Lewis Jackson breaking the press, Chris Kramer's stunning hard nosed defense, Ryne Smith's surprising offensive effort, Keaton Grant's three-pointers, and JaJuan Johnson's electrifying dunks, allowed the Boilermakers to get out of halftime on a 13-0 run.
The Boilermakers looked like they where out to prove something—they were possessed and on a mission. Lewis Jackson stated after the game, "I think the biggest thing was for me when President Obama just said he kind of felt sorry for us."
He later went on to say, no one wanted to be felt sorry for, and they where out to get the job at hand done.
The Boilermakers effort was led by JaJuan Johnson who had a double double with 23 points and 15 rebounds in the game. Johnson shot 50 percent from the field and also had 3 blocks. One of the keys to Johnson's success was his ability to stay out of foul trouble. Johnson played 37 minutes and only recorded 2 personal fouls. Purdue's lack of Hummel requires that Johnson play smart.
An unexpected spark came from the Boilermakers in the form of Ryne Smith. Smith, a 6'3" sophomore Toledo native, averages 2.5 points per game and is shooting 27 percent from beyond the arch. He drained two critical threes in the game, shooting 100 percent from the field.
Senior Chris Kramer also had a stellar game recording 4 steals and 10 points.
E'twaun Moore continued to struggle shooting as he was 5 for 15 from the field finishing with only 12 points, 4 less than his season average.
After beating Siena the Boilermakers go on to facing Texas A&M which should be a hard-fought matchup.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!