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Rutgers Basketball: Purdue 92 Rutgers 85

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Rutgers plays hard, but falls again.

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The night I launched my first ever book at a local Borders, the Rutgers football team beat the number 2 team in the country--South Florida.  Tonight, as I launched my fourth novel, the Rutgers basketball team couldn't repay the favor*.

Things are bad for Rutgers basketball.  There's a controversy over facilities--and by controversy I mean everyone and their mother wants a practice facility, but no one is sure of the plan.  Rutgers had a chance tonight, on the road at Purdue to add a win and put even more pressure on the powers that be to get this done.  Rutgers however, wasn't able to get the job done.

It was the defense that truly failed Rutgers tonight.  Purdue shot 60 percent in the first half, and Rutgers played decently offensively.  Bishop Daniels brought his A game and, despite some crazy turnovers, has started to find his game.  The rest of the team didn't, until the game ticked down its final minutes.

There were nice moments, a give and go from Mack to Jack back to Mack for instance.  And Rutgers was hustling, getting on the ground for balls.  But Purdue was able to score at will--hitting back breaker three after back breaker three.

For most of the game, it seemed Rutgers stood no shot.  But the highlight was the ESPNU commentators bringing up Ray Lesniak calling out the Rutgers administration for not working more on a practice facility.  Rutgers didn't win tonight, but Lesniak is trying to find a win.

But will it be like tonight?  Rutgers put a big time scare in to Purdue late, throwing some pressure at Purdue and cutting the lead as low as 6 with 21 seconds left.  In fact, Purdue got away with a walk when the lead was 7.  Rutgers did end up fighting hard and trying to stay in the game, but it wasn't there.

They return home, where Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack should get heroes welcomes for Senior Night against Maryland.

*These games are hard to write about sometimes.  I'm sorry if this feels like a ton of self-promo.  I'm looking for different game-by-game hooks.

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