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Hammons and Boilers Hammer Penn State; Face Wisconsin Next in Big Ten Tourney

Chicago, IL– A.J. Hammons had a game high 23 points, and Rapheal Davis added 13 as the Purdue Men’s Basketball team defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions in their opening game of the Big Ten Tournament.

The game started off much as the first meeting between the two teams. Penn State seemed as though they could not miss a basket, and the Boilers seemed as though they forgot to leave the hotel room. The Boilers had a 10-9 lead on some very shaky defense as Penn State’s D.J. Newbill showed why he is one of the most electric players in the conference.

Purdue had a 5-4 lead through the first four minutes of play, then Newbill went on to score eight straight as the Boilers struggled to find any type of offense, giving Penn State a 12-10 lead only two minutes later. Purdue only hit one basket over the course of six minutes, digging the Boilers quite the whole.

Penn State saw their lead balloon all the way out to nine points with just under five minutes to play in the half. With less than 90 seconds left in the half, the Boilers really found some type of defense as they held the Nittany Lions scoreless and the Boilers score six points, including a Kendall Stephens three pointer with nine seconds left. The Boilers went in to the half down five 37-32.

Octeus Had a Huge Game for the Boilers Photo: Purdue Athletics
Octeus Had a Huge Game for the Boilers
Photo: Purdue Athletics

What ever the Boilers saw on defense in the first half they continued in the second half. With just over three minutes played in the second half the Boilers found themselves down 41-35. With some tenacious defense, the Boilers were able to go on an 7-0 run to give the Boilers the lead once again 42-41.

With just under nine minutes to play in the second half the Boilers once again saw themselves down six points. Vince Edwards then drilled a three pointer to cut the Penn State lead to three points. The Boilers then played some of the most locked in defense of the season as they did not allow Penn State to score until there were 40 seconds left in the game. During that time the Boilers went on a 13-0 to all but seal the game at 57-50, including a text book alley opp from Dakota Mathias to Hammons.

The Boilers were able to hold the Nittany Lions to only 22 second half points and only 26% shooting from the field, compared to allowing nearly 40% from the field in the first half. The Boilers also found their shot in the second half shooting 41% in the second half compared to only 37% in the first. Senior Jon Octeus also had impressive game having nine points and a team high 11 rebounds.

The Boilers also did a good job on the lethal Newbill. Newbill had 19 points on 18 shot attempts. This is something that head coach Matt Painter has been preaching all season. If a player is going to have a lot of points, it needs to be on a high volume of shots.

Next on the docket for the Boilers is a rematch with top seeded Wisconsin. The Boilers have only played the Badgers once this season. In the January contest, the Boilers played close but lost by seven. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. tip off on the Big Ten Network.

Chris Jewell is the College Sports Editor for Indiana Sports Report. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisJewellISR and Indiana Sports Report @IndySportsRep.

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