Sunday, February 20, 2011

Moore is Always Enough

Statistically, E’Twaun Moore will end his Purdue career as one of the greatest Boilermakers ever.

But, stats don’t tell the whole story. What puts Moore in the same league as Rick Mount, Joe Barry Carroll, and Glenn Robinson is that he plays his best when the most is on the line.

Moore wrote another chapter in his story of clutch performances, Sunday, against third-ranked Ohio State.

“To beat a great team like Ohio State, somebody has to be special and tonight that was E’Twaun Moore,” said Purdue head coach Matt Painter.

Moore scored a career-high 38-points, including seven three-pointers, which ties his best.

There was a four minute stretch late in the first half when he scored 13-straight Boilermaker points.

Moore, who started off slow, caught fire 16-minutes into the game. He knocked down three triples and a miracle up-and-under that bounced off the back rim and fell through causing the Purdue student section to erupt. The Boilermakers road Moore’s outburst to a 37-33 halftime lead.

“[I] was just playing within the offense, and being ready to play, and being aggressive,” said Moore.

The break didn’t slow Moore down. He started the second half drilling a contested three and then intercepted a pass, led a fast break, and dropped a pinpoint, behind-the-back pass to Terone Johnson who finished with a layup.

Purdue’s senior guard was everywhere and the Buckeyes couldn’t match the energy he generated.

“I think that was the best [college] game I played today,” he said. “It was definitely at a great time. We are playing the number three team in the country and we needed the win to stay in the Big Ten race. So, it was definitely huge.”

The usually stoic senior showed subtle signs of emotion throughout the game. He held up three fingers after knocking down a triple in the first half and clapped his hand emphatically after defensive stops down the stretch.

But what let Moore’s teammate Lewis Jackson know it was a special night, was the look on his face.
“Once he smiles, you know he’s got it going,” said Jackson. “He rarely smiles and once he smiles, he’s in a zone and probably won’t stop him.”

Moore is already Purdue’s all-time leader in games started and minute. He also is in the top five for three-point field goals made and games played. Sunday, he made another step in moving up the ranks in Purdue lure.

Moore became just the fifth Boilermaker to eclipse 2,000 points and the fourth player in Big Ten history with 2,000-points, 500 rebounds, and 350 assists.

“It’s a tremendous accomplishment when you think of all the great players than have came through the Big Ten,” said Ohio State coach Thad Matta. “He has done a great job winning here as well.”

Moore admits he may one day sit back and reflect on his personal accomplishments, but right now his focus is on winning a conference title, and what he hopes is his first trip to the Final Four.

“Right now it’s just numbers to me. I’ve still got to play, still have a career and we still have games to play, “he said. “But later I might look back on it and really say ‘dang that was wild.’”

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