Purdue 67 – Michigan 49
At the end of the first half it was 26-25 Michigan after a last second tip by Gibson as time expired. The first half Manny was quiet and Novak was suspended. Michigan got some good production from DeShawn Sims early and then the bench brigade, mainly Sheppherd and Gibson, was key in providing a lot of the first scoring.
The first half was pretty brutal offensively overall. Michigan didn’t score for the first 6 minutes of the game yet only trailed by 4 points. Michigan played tough and hustled hard on defense even though they were overmatched at more than a few positions.
The second half is where it all went to hell. Usually there isn’t a particular play in a basketball game, much less a 18 point blow out, but this game is defenitely an exception. Like most games, Manny Harris was frustrated as he would go to the basket, get mauled and have to get back on defense when the ref didn’t blow his whistle. Before the 18 minutes mark in the second half, Manny had the ball outside the 3 point arc on the wing. The defender, Robbie Hummel [UPADTE: It was Kramer. My rage got the best of me], was right up in Manny’s face playing tight D. Manny brought his arms with the ball around and accidentally caught Kramer in the nose with an elbow. Kramer went to the ground holding his nose. There was blood, and the Purdue fans were howling for more. Immediately a foul was called. Manny looked around for a ref, so he could give him the ball. All of a sudden they called it a flagrant personal foul and Manny was heading to the locker room. The rule book (pg 87) says:
Art. 4. Flagrant personal foul, live ball.
A flagrant personal foul shall be a personal foul that involves severe or excessive contact with an opponent or involves contact that is extreme in nature while the ball is live.
I guess there isn’t anything in there about intent, so if the official thinks that the contact is that far out of the realm of normal play, he has every right to throw Manny out. But it wasn’t a dirty play. Manny wasn’t trying to hurt the player; he wasn’t even trying to hit the Purdue player. Obviously it should be a foul. There was contact and the defender had his position, but there shouldn’t have been an ejection for that.
Speaking of the refs, they were pretty awful the entire games. Like most Big Ten crews, they love to call stupid, ticky-tack fouls, yet don’t call muggings at the rim. I really don’t get it, at all.
After that, everything went to hell in a handbasket. Purdue got hot and Michigan was rattled. They couldn’t get anything going offensively and that affected their defensive ability. Eventually it got to be too much. Around the 11 minute mark, most observers could tell the game was effectively over.
They were able to lead a good Purdue team at the half without Novak, who is arguably Michigan’s 3rd or 4th best player. No way Michigan had a chance without Manny for the second half. Manny averages 32 minutes a game, but only could play 18. Novak averages 26 and played none. Playing on the road against a team with better talent, it was just too much for this team to overcome. They played hard, but when Anthony Wright, CJ Lee and David Merrit all have to play serious minutes, the team is not going to win much.
Do you think that the ejection was the wrong call? Let us know in the comments.