Purdue had a little bit of trouble in the first half against the Penguins but put all of that to rest rather quickly in the second half. Purdue used a shooting barrage in the second half to push the lead into the 20s and beyond. To open the second half Purdue went 12-15 from the floor. For any IU fans reading this post that's 80%. That's pretty good. Purdue used a series of great passes by the likes of Caleb Swanigan and Dakota Mathias to go along with easy dunks for A.J. Hammons and hot shooting by Rapheal Davis and Kendall Stephens. It pushed their lead from just 11 at half to 31 by the end. It was an impressive display.
John Wooden Memorial Player of the Game (JWMPOTG)- A.J. Hammons again wins this one. The force was strong with him on Star Wars day. Hammons was 6-10 from the field to finish with 15 points. He also grabbed 11 rebounds, had three blocks and just for good measure he threw in a steal. He truly is America's best backup center. Honorable mention goes to Caleb Swanigan for his stat stuffing day of 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. Grady Eifert gets special mention for his 2-2 game with a total of 5 points and 3 rebounds. Impressive day for the young man.
To start the game Youngstown shot (went in) first and they quickly built a 4-0 lead. In case you didn't know, trailing by four points is Purdue's largest deficit this season. Just let that sink in. Through 11 games Purdue has trailed by AT MOST four points. There was a bit of a disturbance in the force in the first half as Purdue struggled to make the easy buckets and Youngstown State made some random circus shots to keep the game close. I think the Penguins were using the force to make some of those shots because it's not often you see a bank shot three pointer from the top of the key yet Youngstown State did just that. Purdue had trouble with their hyperdrive as they were up just 36-30 with 1:26 left in the first half. Luckily Hammons (Han) and Swanigan (Chewie) were able to get it worked out during halftime. But much like Episodes I-III it's best to forget the first half ever happened and instead focus on the 2nd half of the saga (the original trilogy).
The only thing of note that happened in the first half was an injury to P.J. Thompson that we hope isn't too serious. Thompson appeared to take an inadvertent elbow to the head (possibly near his eye). There was quite a bit of blood and he left the game within the first five minutes and failed to return. Thompson had to get 14 stitches according to Painter's post-game presser. it's something we will have to keep an eye on (pun intended).
Purdue really turned it around in the second half using some great passing and a series of dunks by the JWMPOTG. Anytime that Hammons, Haas, or Swanigan got the ball inside the lane in the second half you could almost guarantee that two points were being put on the board. Purdue's hot shooting included nearly everyone on the team. It's like they were Luke Skywalker blasting womp rats from his T-16 back home. Kendall Stephens was 3-6 from distance, Vince Edwards was 4-6 from the field, Ray D. was 4-8. If you weren't the one making the shot you were the one assisting. Purdue had eight different players notch an assist. On their 33 made baskets Purdue had 26 assists. I can sum up my feeling for the rest of the game by using Star Wars gifs.
These are my thoughts on this team.
And the team's response.
To everyone wondering if the weak opponents have really given us any real evidence of what this team can be:
TL/DR Purdue looked really great in the second half after a lackluster first half. Purdue lost P.J. Thompson after he took an elbow to the face. Purdue wound up winning the game by over 30 points. Purdue is good at basketball. Oh, and Hammons and Haas both played at the same time. It wasn't spectacular but it was fun.