Winning ugly; that's what can be said about today's game. But hey, a win is a win and even if it's ugly, an overtime victory is a great learning experience for this group of young Boilers. After getting beat down in the second half of the Michigan game, Purdue entered Sunday in hopes of getting another victory to get back on the winning track.
Purdue came out with an early lead, mostly because Iowa shot horrendously during the first half. Purdue played some solid defense though, as we have been doing most of the Big Ten season. The poor shooting for Purdue continued as well; Purdue went into halftime with dismal 19 points. A.J. Hammons still seems like he's in a freshmen funk with scoring, taking 8 shots to get 7 points, but defensively he's stilling bringing it. The leading shot blocker in the B1G had three blocks and ten rebounds. Fouling has been an issue for Hammons lately and was again this game. However, he's young and still learning rotations and how to stay straight up.
Terone Johnson had a big game with a pretty solid double-double, 17 points and 12 rebounds. Although he scored 17, he took 18 shots to get those points. Terone is a huge part of Purdue's offense, but he has to be better with his shot selection. Poor shots are essentially turnovers.
Iowa went into a 2-3 zone most of the game, and if it's one thing we've learned about this team it's that zones absolutely kill us. If teams are smart they should play Purdue in a 2-3 zone every game because of how poor our 3-point shooting is. Purdue ended the day 3-12 behind the arc, a whopping 25%. Despite the poor shooting we walked away with a win, and should be grateful. Iowa is a tough opponent and are another up and coming Big Ten team.
Donnie Hale had a strong game with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and a block. It was good to see Hale on the court and playing well. Purdue needs another one of the reserve big men to come off the bench of be able to contribute, and outside of Hammons no one has really been that consistent. Hale has a beautiful looking mid-range jump shot, is a solid rebounder, orangutang arms, and is a smart ball player. Hopefully this is the game he needed to get things back on track.
Things don't get any easier, as Purdue plays IU this week in Mackey. This will be a huge game, and hopefully the Boilers that played in the first half of the Michigan game show up. If that's the case, it will be a fun game to watch. If the Purdue team that played today shows up, well, it won't be pretty.