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Purdue loses third straight game

Chris Kramer said No. 6 Purdue hasn't lost its confidence, despite losing for the third consecutive game Saturday.

"There's no reason to be not confident," Kramer said after a 72-64 loss at Northwestern. "One thing that coach said is success messes with you. We just have to look in the mirror and get back to the way we were before, laying everything out on the floor, playing defense, rebounding the basketball like we're capable of doing. If the ball goes in or not, we'll still be fine."

Perhaps that's what is so boggling about Purdue's skid -- it's simply not doing things it did the first 14 games. Sure, there were defensive breakdowns during the hot start and poor shot selection at points.

But the Boilermakers simply aren't competing on the glass in Big Ten play -- been outrebounded six consecutive games, including West Virginia. Coach Matt Painter thinks that's a tribute to lack of effort.

He certainly knows how to gauge his team, but, to me, there looked like there were some guys getting after it against the Wildcats. E'Twaun Moore even dove for a loose ball -- I'm not sure I remember the last time that happened.

But getting doubled-up on the boards is unacceptable, especially against a team that entered the game last in the Big Ten in rebounding margin. Purdue was 10th. But still.

The Boilermakers get another chance to "bounce back" Tuesday. At Illinois. That's not an easy place to play, and the Illini will be coming off a loss to Michigan State. We'll see.