New York Colleges: Purdue Boilermakers

Rapid Reaction: Oregon State 66, Purdue 58

November, 16, 2012
What it means: Oregon State picked up an impressive victory, but may have lost a key player in the process.

The Beavers won the consolation game of the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York, defeating Purdue 66-58 on Friday. But starting center Angus Brandt went down with what looked like a serious leg injury with just over five minutes remaining in the game.

Oregon State is now 3-1 on the season. Purdue, which also lost to Villanova here in overtime on Thursday, and lost its season opener at home to Bucknell, is off to a brutal 1-3 start.

The skinny: Simply put, this game changed when Devon Collier entered it. The 6-foot-8 junior forward, a Bronx, N.Y., native, scored 13 straight points for Oregon State in one stretch of the first half, when the Beavers took control of the game. He had 17 points and eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Purdue trailed 39-28 at intermission.

After Oregon State scored the first four points of the second half to make it 43-28, Purdue coach Matt Painter pulled all five starters off the floor. The gamble worked. Sparked by the bench, the Boilermakers climbed all the way back to tie the game at 56 with 2:17 left to play. But they never took the lead. Collier put Oregon State back in front with a pair of free throws, and then a huge 3-pointer by Eric Moreland with 58.3 seconds left gave the Beavers a 61-56 lead. They put the game away from there.

Star watch: Collier may have earned his way into Oregon State’s starting lineup here in New York. After scoring 21 points against Alabama on Thursday, Collier finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds against Purdue -- that’s a monster game. He’s crafty in the paint, and attacks the glass hard.

It will be a long flight home to West Lafayette, Ind., but Painter has to be excited by what he saw from freshman center A.J. Hammons on Friday. The 7-footer had a team-high 20 points (16 in second half) and eight rebounds off the bench, and showed some nice moves around the rim. He made eight of his 10 field goal attempts.

Number crunch: Here’s guessing Purdue will be shooting a lot of free throws in practice the next few days. After making just 16 of 28 in the loss to Villanova, the Boilermakers made just nine of 16 against Oregon State. Precious points left at the charity stripe.

What’s next: Oregon State does not play another game until the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when the Beavers will host Montana State.

Purdue will host UNC Wilmington on the night before Thanksgiving.

Rapid Reaction: Villanova 89, Purdue 81

November, 16, 2012
What it means: Villanova is off to a strong start, and perhaps capable of exceeding expectations this season. Purdue's players and coaching staff, on the other hand, will not sleep well Thursday night.

The Wildcats improved to 3-0 on the young season, courtesy of an 89-81 overtime win over the Boilermakers in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Purdue, on the other hand, drops to 1-2 on the year after also losing its season opener at home to Bucknell.

The skinny: Villanova led by as many as seven points in the first half, at 20-13. Purdue cut it to two late, 31-29, but Villanova scored the final four points of the half to take a 35-29 lead into the locker room.

The second half was a different story. After trailing by as many as 10, Purdue went on a tear, going in front by eight, 61-53. The Boilermakers maintained the lead until the final minute of regulation, when Villanova found a way to push the game to OT.

With the Wildcats trailing 75-71 with 43.8 seconds left, Purdue swingman D.J. Byrd was called for a flagrant foul on Villanova guard Darrun Hilliard. Hilliard sank the two free throws, Villanova retained possession, and guard Ryan Arcidiacono was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass. He also sank two free throws, and the game was suddenly knotted at 75. In the closing seconds of regulation, Purdue guard Ronnie Johnson air-balled a 3-point attempt with the shot clock winding down. And then on the final play, Arcidiacono misfired on a short jumper. Forward Daniel Ochefu tipped in the rebound, but it came after the buzzer.

In overtime, Villanova guard James Bell opened the scoring with a 3-pointer -- his first of two daggers from deep in the extra period -- and the Wildcats never trailed from there, eventually putting the game away.

Star watch: Hilliard scored a game-high 22 points for Villanova, shooting 7-for-10 from the field. Arcidiacono, a freshman, added 18. And sophomore forward JayVaughn Pinkston, a Brooklyn native, chipped in 16. Bell scored 15 points on the night.

For Purdue, Byrd finished with a team-high 16 points -- but he fouled out in regulation and was unavailable in OT. Ronnie Johnson had 12 points and nine assists.

Number crunch: Free throws ended up being a critical factor. Villanova knocked down 33 of 41 (80.5 percent). Purdue made just 16 of 28 (57.1 percent).

What's next: Villanova will face Alabama in the championship game, Friday at 7:30 p.m. Purdue will play Oregon State in the consolation game at 5 p.m.

W2W4: Villanova vs. Purdue

November, 15, 2012
Here are three things to watch for when Villanova (2-0) faces Purdue (1-1) in the second semifinal of the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

Tip-off will be at approximately 9:30 p.m., and you can watch the game on ESPN2 (or ESPN3).

HARD TIMES: Typically one of the stronger programs in the Big East, Viilanova is going through a down period under coach Jay Wright, now in his 12th season. After seven straight NCAA tournament berths, the Wildcats missed out on March Madness last year, finishing with a 13-19 record. (The 19 losses tied a school record). And they were picked to finish 12th in the Big East this season in the conference's preseason coaches poll.

Villanova has won its first two games -- a 20-point victory over Division II District of Columbia, followed by a 12-point win over Marshall. The Wildcats' leading scorer is 6-foot-3 freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono, who is averaging 18 points per game.

ROUGH START: Purdue was stunned at home by Bucknell in its season opener, falling 70-65. The Boilermakers rebounded two days later to blow out Hofstra by 29. But that doesn't erase the concern over the loss to a Patriot League squad.

There is reason to worry. Coach Matt Painter has had to replace three stars who were selected in the NBA draft the past two years: Robbie Hummel, E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson. That's no easy task. Purdue was picked to finish eighth in the Big Ten this season in the conference's preseason media poll. Through two games, the team's leading scorer is 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Anthony Johnson (11.0 ppg).

FAMILIAR SURROUNDINGS: Villanova should have an edge in this game when it comes to crowd support, because of the school's proximity to New York City -- plus the Wildcats are more familiar with the Garden from playing in the Big East. But will Villanova fans come out in full force, considering the team's dismal prospects this season? We'll see.

Next year's 2K Sports Classic field set

March, 6, 2012
We've got a ton of college hoops to look forward to over the next month or so -- but it's never too early to look ahead to next season.

On Tuesday, the field for the season-opening 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden was revealed. The four teams are Villanova, Purdue, Alabama and Oregon State. And the games will take place on Nov. 15 and 16.

Tickets go on sale at noon today, via Ticketmaster.