Golden Gophers clobber Purdue, make it to championship gameMinnesota Sports
- Minnesota (21-12) advanced to the Big Ten tourney title game against top-seed Ohio State (26-7) after blasting Purdue 69-42 in the Big Ten tournament semifinals at Conseco Fieldhouse.
From the Fargo Forum - IN-Forum.com
By Pete DiPrimo - Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel
INDIANAPOLIS – Minnesota (21-12) advanced to the Big Ten tourney title game against top-seed Ohio State (26-7) after blasting Purdue 69-42 in the Big Ten tournament semifinals at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Buckeyes (26-7) edged Illinois in the other semifinals, 88-81, in double overtime.
Purdue sophomore guard Lewis Jackson was hurt late in the game and had to be helped to the locker room. Painter said a Minnesota player stepped on the top of Jackson’s foot, but early indications are that he will be able to play in the NCAA Tournament.
The Boilers sleepwalked their way into a seven-point deficit. They couldn’t shoot, rebound or run the offense. The only good news – Minnesota was only slightly better. After eight minutes, the Gophers led 9-4 despite having more turnovers (5) than baskets (4).
Minnesota found its rhythm and pushed ahead 26-4. Purdue found nothing but misery. It missed 13 straight shots, rebounded almost none of them. It had no assists, seven turnovers. E’Twaun Moore, who had shot the Boilers back against Northwestern the previous day, missed his first eight attempts.
The Gophers finished with a 37-11 halftime lead. Purdue made only 5 of 27 shots, just 1 of 4 free throws. It had one assist against eight turnovers. It allowed Minnesota to shoot 61.5 percent. It got out-rebounded by 10. It was the worst half of the Painter era. It might have been the worst half of any era. By the numbers it was the worst Boiler half since 1950.
Purdue began the second half 0-for-3 from the field, 0-for-2 from the line, before finally making a move. It cut the deficit to 18 points after five minutes, but that was as close as it got.
JuJuan Johnson led Purdue with 17 points. Ralph Sampson III scored 13 points for the sixth-seeded Golden Gophers (21-12), who reached the final for the first time.