CHICAGO - Purdue men's basketball coach Matt Painter spoke with the media following his team's 57-55 defeat to Nebraska on Thursday at the United Center in the opening round of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament.
On a critical stretch in the second half:
"We had to battle back, I just thought Nebraska was a step quicker than us most of the night. But we battled back and got it to two possessions. And then we went about four-straight possessions in the middle of the second half where we took two horrendous shots and had two turnovers. That was a key time of the game, even though we got back into the game and had a chance to win the basketball game, those four possessions in a row really hurt us.
And then we had some breakdowns and missed some free throws. And then had the one rebound on a missed free throw that everybody seemed to box their man out and not go get the basketball. And that crushed us."
On the play of Husker freshman Shavon Shields:
"I thought Shavon Shields was great in the first half. He played like a senior, played like an experienced guy. So give him credit. If you would have told us that we would have took their two best shooters and they would have had nine and five, I would have said we would have won this game. But obviously we didn't. But give them credit. They outplayed us."
On the play of redshirt junior center Sandi Marcius:
"I thought he played hard. He gave us a spark there. He had six rebounds in 14 minutes. And obviously A.J. [Hammons] scored the basketball.
But in that one stretch A.J. had the turnover and then he had a couple shots right there at the basket and he had already been out there about three or four minutes. So it was just a natural rotation where I was going to sub him out anyway and Sandi went in and got rebounds for us and gave us some energy. So we stuck with him.
He's done a really good job for us. A lot of times when guys get out of the rotation they get down, they get a bad attitude, and Sandi's had a great attitude when he got out of the rotation and he's kept fighting and he's really helped us here the past couple weeks."
On the final possession:
"We were doing we did the same thing we have been doing before with (D.J.) Byrd getting those shots, except that Terone (Johnson),, we wanted him to get in the paint, because we didn't need a three. We wanted him to get in the paint and try to draw a foul or get to the rim. And we didn't get a good ball screen.
You go back and watch the tape, he didn't get a good ball screen right there. He got a contested shot.
Obviously, he got it back and had another contested shot there. You would like to get a little better look. But we had the ball in the right guy's hand."