It was only six weeks ago that Purdue beat Illinois to start Big Ten Conference play, but that victory must have seemed to Boilermakers coach Matt Painter like it happened in a different season as he watched his team get blown out Wednesday by the Illini.
With just over 8 minutes left in game that seemed all but over, Painter lost his cool with officials and earned two quick technical fouls and a humbling walk to the locker room. Illinois fans enjoyed every step.
Illinois beat Purdue 79-59, handing Painter and his team a fifth loss in seven games. The Boilermakers gave up 20 offensive rebounds and turned it over 17 times falling a game below .500 overall and two games below .500 in the Big Ten.
“You get to that certain point, you want your team to play harder, you want your team to embrace the physicality of the game,” Painter explained postgame. “And they weren’t.”
The ejection was probably welcomed by some Purdue fans who have been wanting to see more emotion for Painter on the sidelines as Purdue struggles to compete in the strongest conference in the nation this season. After six consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and 20-win seasons, it's not a surprise to see Painter losing his temper with his young team looking like it will completely miss the postseason this year.
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