Minnesota lost a tough game in double overtime to Purdue 83-78 at Mackey Arena. Minnesota drops to 1-2 in Big Ten play. Daniel Oturu led all scorers with 29.
The game began with a confusing series of plays. Minnesota was fortunate to make a few three pointers that had no business going in and both Purdue and Minnesota traded weird offensive possessions for much of the first half.
In the second half, Daniel Oturu and Marcus Carr came alive. Oturu had 24 of his 29 points after the first half. While consistently being bodied and double teamed by Purdue, the sophomore showed off an array of offensive skill moves. Oturu was 12-25 from the field, and added 18 rebounds because having near 20-20 nights is a normal thing for a center now. We live in wonderful times before he declares for the draft at the end of the year.
Marcus Carr also had a sensational night. While some will focus on his decisions at the end of regulation and the first overtime, I will instead focus on how good he was for much of the game. Carr had 27 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The seven turnovers are bad, though one has a massive asterisk because Carr was pushed in the back causing him to fall over and lose the ball. I also believe that much of his late game struggles were the result of playing for 48 minutes against intense defense all night. As he continues to mature on the court, Carr is turning into a deadly weapon and the kind of point guard that thrives in Pitino’s offense.
Unfortunately, Minnesota came up short in this game. Loses happen, and they happen at Mackey Arena quite a bit. Purdue is currently the 13th ranked team in the country by KenPom, so Minnesota misses out on another quality win. Such is the bubble life.
On a night where Alihan Demir had just three points, Jarvis Omersa came to play on the defensive end. The combo forward Alihan Omersa finished with 3 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and five steals. Omersa in particular was excellent in dealing with Purdue’s size. My sincere hope is that he develops a semblance of an offensive game besides dunking in the next 12 months.
Tre Williams started again for the injured Payton Willis. The freshman remained cold from the field, shooting just 2-10 from the field and 0-4 from distance. He was solid on the defensive end. Minnesota should be happy that Williams has the opportunity to get more game minutes, but will be very pleased when Payton Willis returns. If nothing else, the return of Willis will allow Carr some extra breathers.
Gabe Kalscheur was 3-10 from behind the arc. He missed two very good looks. It is going to be a process, but Kalscheur appears to be turning the corner on offense.
Minnesota next takes on Northwestern on Sunday.