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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Baylor comes up short against Purdue

From the five overtime game against A&M to the celebration in Waco as the last at large team to get into the tournament, Baylor has been one of the 2008 season’s great stories. However after the Bears loss to another upstart, the Purdue Boilermakers, in the first round of the tournament, the story is over.
The story of rejuvenation and vindication after a player’s death and subsequent coaching and recruiting scandal came to a 90-79 end to another great story in the “Baby Boilermakers, a nickname gained because Purdue has four freshmen that see big minutes every game.
The Bears are now 3-7 all time in the NCAA Tournament. This year marked the Bear’s first appearance since 1988. Purdue has won ten straight opening round games, and they notched this latest win not by playing usual slow and grinding Big 10 basketball but playing to Baylor’s fast game.
“I remember at one point in the first half, with about 4 minutes to go, it was just up and down like a track meet almost,” Purdue freshman Robbie Hummel said. “Baylor’s style was to get up and run, and it was just a fun game to play.”
Baylor’s Curtis Jerrells led the game with 27 points but Purdue out rebounded, out assisted, and had better field goal and free throw percentages than the Bears. The game was only close at the beginning before Purdue began to run away. At one point the Boilermakers had a 25 point lead.
“We didn’t come out to play that style, it was just the way the game went about,” Purdue freshman Scott Martin said. “They’re a very uptempo team, and they create a lot of possessions with that style. So there were more possessions today, which gave us a lot of shots. And we made a lot of shots.”
Purdue moves to the round of 32 where they will play Xavier. Baylor will return to Waco and with confidence and hope for the future for the first time in the program since before the scandals of 2003, begin making preparations for next season.
“We gained a lot. We gained hunger,” said Jerrells. “I think the taste in our mouth will be a whole lot better next year. And we’ll actually guard somebody.”

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