Marcus Smart and OK State too much for Purdue, 97-87
How do you knock off one of the best teams in the nation with one of the best players in the nation? Get out to a fast start, limit turnovers, stay out of foul trouble, and hope your best player can have one of his best games. Purdue didn’t really do any of those things, but fought back in the 2nd half to make this a ballgame. Purdue eventually dropped the opener of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando to Marcus Smart and the fifth ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Outside of having the same number of turnovers in the first half as Oklahoma State, the Boilers’ Thanksgiving Day match up in Orlando appeared to be all but over at halftime. Both teams came into the Old Spice Classic with 5-0 records but Purdue was unranked. Ap Top 25 Rankings
Purdue found themselves in foul trouble early as starting center A.J. Hammons picked up two early fouls and was a non-factor in the first half. Same goes for the starting point guard, Ronnie Johnson. Combine that with ejection of Purdue’s first man off the bench, Jay Simpson, the Boilers were off to a terrible start. Future lottery pick, Marcus Smart, led the way for the Cowboys with 24 first half points. Oklahoma was 18-25 from the charity stripe and shot 56% from the floor in the first half, as the Cowboys went into the break leading 52-29.
The Boilermakers cut the deficit to 4 with just under 3 minutes to play. They went on a 25-12 run as Marcus Smart went to the bench with foul trouble in the second half. Purdue was much more aggressive and got to the free throw line often. Purdue fought hard but could not get any closer than 4 points. Smart hit a key driving layup late to extend the lead to 8 and he finished with 30 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Markel Brown added 25 points. Purdue had 5 players in double figures was led by Bryson Scott’s 18 points. Purdue will play Washington St Friday at 11am ET in Orlando. Oklahoma State will play Butler.
Clinton Cole is a Staff Writer for Pro Sports Extra. Follow Clinton on Twitter at @cdcole55.