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Established October 31, 1996
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Last updated: 02/21/2011 3:24 PM

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Men's Basketball
The Turning Point of the Game - OSU at Purdue
By Tony Gerdeman

It was cold out, the West Lafayette temperatures just reaching into the 30s. The sky was gray. The risen sun not quite powerful enough to make it through the mire.

Then off went the alarm clock. A normal man would be excused for not wanting to be involved with such a day, but instead of ignoring his alarm, Purdue's E'Twaun Moore decided to get up and get ready to play against the Buckeyes.

And that, my friends, was the turning point in yesterday's game.

Admittedly, a game's turning point generally happens during the actual game, but there was never any point during the contest when the momentum was ever out of Moore's hands.

He finished the game 13-18 from the field, including 7-10 from three-point land, his 38 points a new career-high.  He controlled everything.  The court was his puppet show, and the Buckeyes were his marionettes.

"I know once he gets that rhythm going and steps back and hits a three and once he smiles, you know he has it going," Boilermaker guard Lewis Jackson explained.

"E'Twaun may put his fingers up and tell you he hit a three-pointer, but he rarely smiles. Once he smiles, he's in a zone, and you probably won't stop him that night."

Apparently, he who smiles first, smiles last.

Even when it seemed things would start going Ohio State's way, Moore would be there to burst hope's bubble.

After a dunk and free throw by Jared Sullinger cut the Boilermakers' lead to five points in the second half, Moore responded with a basket to get the lead back to seven.

When two Aaron Craft free throws cut the lead once again to five points, Moore waited all of 27 seconds before hitting a fading three-pointer from the top of the key with under six minutes to play.

"He gets into those rhythms and gets going.  He can score points in bunches," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. 

"I've always thought he was one of the best guards in the country when he lets things come to him."

To keep his ridiculous meme going, after Jared Sullinger dropped in a couple of free throws to make it a six-point game with five minutes remaining, Moore once again answered with another jumper.

“Oh yeah, definitely.  That was the best game I've played," Moore answered when asked where this game ranked in his career. 

"Definitely at a great time.  We needed a win to stay in the Big Ten race.”

Despite Moore's heroics, the Buckeyes were amazingly able to fight back yet again, cutting the deficit to just four points on a Sullinger bucket with 2:35 to play in the game.

As was the case all day, Moore answered the Buckeye run like an echo, drilling yet another three-pointer, this time barely with control of the ball in his hands.

“When he bobbled the ball and still shot it at the end and it went in," Painter said,  "It's one of those plays where you probably shouldn't shoot the basketball, but to him, you could just tell that he was in a rhythm and everything he was going to take at that point was probably going to go in.”

That last three-pointer was the one that finally did the Buckeyes in.  You can only argue with a one-upper for so long before you finally figure out that you're just never going to get the last word.

The Boilermakers answered every Ohio State run on Sunday, including a few they didn't even make, and there was one consistent reason why.

“To beat a great team like Ohio State, someone had to be special,” Painter said.  “That was E’Twaun tonight.”

When Moore decided to honor his alarm clock on Sunday, who could have known that he would also be hitting the snooze on the Buckeyes.

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