Live Blog: Gophers Men’s Basketball v. No. 3 Purdue

Marco LaNave

The Gophers have perhaps their best remaining chance to get a signature win for their NCAA Tournament resume, as they face No. 3 Purdue, which stands in first place in the Big Ten.  The Gophers haven’t defeated the Boilermakers in Tubby Smith’s tenure.  The Boilermakers have been ranked for a program-record 41 consecutive weeks in the AP poll.

Minnesota hasn’t officially defeated a top-5 opponent since Feb. 12, 1992, when it won at home against fourth-ranked Indiana, which advanced to the Final Four in Minneapolis that year under coach Bob Knight.

Final – Joseph’s baseline jumper was long, and Damian Johnson’s put-back attempt came after the buzzer, handing the Gophers another agonizing last-minute defeat. PURDUE 59, GOPHERS 58.

0:04.2 2nd – Grant, who has eight second-half points, hit a jumper with 7.7 seconds to go to put the pressure on Minnesota. PURDUE 59, GOPHERS 58.

0:25.2 2nd – Westbrook, who had scored just one basket in the game when he entered 15 seconds ago, made a one handed floater to give Minnesota a lead. The Gophers are now a defensive stop away from an upset. GOPHERS 58, PURDUE 57.

1:19 2nd – Johnson had a big 3-point play on the last Minnesota possession, but Boilermakers guard Keaton Grant answered with a 3-pointer to close the lead to one again. GOPHERS 56, PURDUE 55.

3:22 2nd – Purdue is the closest its been since Sampson made a go-head hook shot to make it 31-30 nearly 14 minutes ago. The Boilermakers have closed the gap with a 13-4 run, with JaJuan Johnson scoring the last four points. GOPHERS 49, PURDUE 48.

7:41 2nd – After his latest 3-point play, Sampson has a career-high 21 points. Purdue doesn’t seem to have an answer other than fouling him when he gets the ball in the paint. GOPHERS 47, PURDUE 41.

11:45 2nd – The Boilermakers ended a more-than-10-minute scoring drought when guard John Hart hit a 3-pointer to make it 36-33 Gophers. Sampson had scored the game’s last 10 points prior to that. GOPHERS 38, PURDUE 35.

15:28 2nd – It’s the Ralph Sampson III show, as the sophomore center has scored the last nine points for Minnesota, while the Boilermakers have yet to score in the half. Hummel just returned to the arena with crutches and took a seat at the end of the Purdue bench. It looks as if he won’t be returning for the rest of the night. GOPHERS 35, PURDUE 30.

Halftime – The Boilermakers have made 2-of-12 field goals (0-of-7 from 3-point range) since Hummel left the floor. Minnesota has had a 9-4 run in that time. It could have been more, as the Gophers had free-throw chances in the final minutes. Moments before the buzzer, Hoffarber missed a 3-pointer that could have made it a four-point game. PURDUE 30, GOPHERS 23.

3:37 1st – Hummel hasn’t made a 3-pointer in about four-and-a-half minutes, but that’s because he’s left the court. With just over seven minutes to play in the half, he drove into the paint and lost the ball as he was called for traveling. He went to the floor in visible pain. He was helped by Purdue’s taff off the court and headed to the locker room supported by two staff members. PURDUE 30, GOPHERS 19.

7:59 1st – Purdue has settled for 3-point shots against the Gophers’ zone defense, but it has worked out for the Boilermakers. Hummel has made 3-of-4 3-point shots and has a game-high 11 points. Minnesota has a long way to go, but it will only get worse if Purdue keeps hitting from long range. PURDUE 24, GOPHERS 12.

10:54 1st – The Boilermakers have had little trouble finding open shots, while its been harder than pulling teeth for the Gophers. Sampson and Iverson have been on the floor together the last couple of minutes, but they’ve been battled hard by Purdue inside. No breakaways in the game so far. PURDUE 19, GOPHERS 8.

14:34 1st – The Gophers seem to have slowed the pace established in the last two games. Minnesota hasn’t attempted a 3-point shot yet and has made just 1-of-7 field-goal attempts. Sampson hasn’t let JaJuan Johnson get to the basket, but the Boilermakers center has settled for jumpers, on which he is 3-of-4 for six points. Hummel also has six points on a pair of 3-pointers. PURDUE 12, GOPHERS 2.

Starting Lineups:

Purdue Boilermakers (23-3, 11-3 Big Ten):

F Jr. Robbie Hummel (15.8 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game)
C Jr. JaJuan Johnson (14.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 0.7 APG)
G Jr. E’Twaun Moore (17.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.9 APG)
G Fr. Kelsey Barlow (3.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.7 APG)
G Sr. Chris Kramer (5.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.4 APG)

Minnesota Gophers (16-10, 7-7 Big Ten):

F Sr. Damian Johnson (10.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.0 APG)
C So. Ralph Sampson III (8.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.9 APG)
G Jr. Blake Hoffarber (11.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.0 APG)
G So. Devoe Joseph (8.5 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 3.1 APG)
G Sr. Lawrence Westbrook (13.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.1 APG)