Compared to Purdue first 3 games, Purdue looked slow and unable to hit any shots. After all, Purdue's first field goal came with just over 15 minutes left in the 1st half thanks to a Kendall 3 pointer. It remained the only 3 pointer made in the first half actually, as both Purdue and ODU struggled to score. Purdue was able to push to a 10 point lead to end the 1st half, but ODU came out firing to start the 2nd half and cut the lead down significantly as Purdue continued to struggle.
But then, Purdue proved why it's ranked in the Top 25 and started blowing up thanks to 3 Kendall Stephens' three-pointers. Hammons, Haas, and Swanigan started to over power ODU in the paint on both ends, and prevented many second chance points for Old Dominion. Despite some struggles in the last 2 games, give Purdue credit for stepping up their defense today and holding ODU to less than 40 points.
Here are some final starts for Purdue:
- AJ Hammons finished with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and a few timely blocks
- Haas finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds
- Kendall Stephens finished with 12 points, all coming off 4 3-pointers. Mathias contributed 2 more 3 pointers for Purdue in the 2nd half
- Purdue hit 9 free throws on 12 attempts. Little concerning that Purdue didn't feed the paint more to force more fouls and free throws. ODU had the same FT numbers, but typically Purdue struggled last season when attempting so few free throws.
That's it for my quick takes. Purdue will play the winner of Florida/St. Joseph's tomorrow in the championship game.