College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, February 20, 2011
Road wins are becoming harder and harder to get. Presumed walkovers go down to the final shot. Teams once thought to be pushovers are springing upsets against the Top 25... no, make that the Top Ten.
It must be late February.
The latest victim of late-season surging was the one many thought could not be beaten just a week ago, the Ohio State Buckeyes, who, in the course of just eight days and three games have proven not only to be beatable, but downright vulnerable. Of course, it helps when you have a player like Purdue's E'Twaun Moore, who normally plays big, but plays even bigger in big games.
Moore knocked down 7 of 10 three-pointers and was 13 of 18 from the field as he put up a career high 38 points to lead the Boilermakers to their 4th straight win, a 76-63 home court conquest of Ohio State.
Moore torched the Buckeyes from the start of the game to the finish as the Boilermakers snuck to within a game of Ohio State in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes, undefeated at 24-0 and 10-0 just a week ago, lost at Wisconsin on February 12 and beat up a depleted Michigan State squad on the 15th before falling at Purdue, casting doubt on their assumed superiority in the league.
Purdue looms a force with which to be reckoned as the regular season heads into its final two weeks and four games. The Boilermakers improved to 11-3 and 22-5 overall and will surely move up from their #11 ranking after knocking off the #2 Buckeyes.
NOTABLE: Four other Top 25 teams were on the hardwoods Sunday, all winners. #5 Duke polished off Georgia Tech, 79-57; #10 Wisconsin handled Penn St. 76-66; visiting #14 Florida held off a late rally by LSU for a 68-61 win, and #23 Temple scorched St. Joseph's, 66-52.