Today's game got off to an ugly start, as neither team could make a basket to save a life. Both teams missed their first 8 shots, maybe even more, and the trend continued throughout the rest of the game. However, an ugly win is still a win, and Purdue was able to put away Lehigh in the closing minutes of the second half. Here are some of my quick takes from the game.
- Thompson and Hill will battle each other for the starting point guard position. Thompson rightfully started tonight over Hill after his great performance in the Hall of Fame Tip Off. While coming off the bench, Hill played with some gusto and forced his way to the basket for some lay-ups and drew a few fouls. Hill finished with 13 points, while Thompson finished with 10 points. I think Thompson will remain the starter, as he still hasn't turned the ball over (I think), but Hill will continue to contribute this season.
- Purdue made its free throws. Which is good because both Purdue and Lehigh were in the bonus with more than 10 minutes left in the first half. Purdue made 21 free throws on 25 attempts, which is good. They need to keep attacking the basket, drawing fouls, and making free throws if they want to contend for the B1G Title.
- As mentioned above, Purdue got into some foul trouble early on in this game, and Hammons, Haas, and Swanigan each had 2 fouls towards the end of the 1st half, forcing Painter to bench most of them throughout the 1st half. Lehigh actually out-rebounded Purdue in the 1st half, but Purdue took control in the 2nd half and out-rebounded Lehigh 50-38 overall in the game. If the big men get in foul trouble when B1G season starts, Painter's team could be in trouble.
- Haas came up big today (no pun intended), and scored a career high 24 points in this game, most of them coming in the 2nd half. I think the brotherly competition between Haas and Hammons (with Swanigan joining the winner) will benefit Purdue this season.
- After a strong start, Purdue's 3-point shooting looked terrible today, only making 4-3s on 19 attempts. I think Purdue just had an off night, which is expected every now and then (Live by the 3, Die by the 3). Stephens, Mathias, and Cline were mostly cold from beyond the arc tonight, and most of their missed shots weren't even close to going in. They'll need to feed the big men more whenever this happens again Big Ten play an in their non-con match-ups against Pitt, Butler, and Vandy.
- Vince and Biggie had a quiet 10 and 12 rebounds, along with 9 and 7 points, respectively. Biggie got into some foul trouble with 4 fouls at the end of the game that I think frustrated him a little bit.
- Though Purdue's defense held Lehigh to less than 30% in field goals made, I still think this team missed Rapheal Davis tonight. He's obviously this team's captain, and his guidance on the floor can steer this team in the right direction whenever things go wrong. Had he been on the court, I think he could have calmed this team down and help the shots fall down. We could go through all the "What-ifs", but ultimately Purdue still won, and by resting Davis, his MCL should hopefully heal up in time for the Pitt game this upcoming week.
- Unlike last week, Lehigh was able to score more points against Purdue than the football team gave up on the same day (IU had 54 points, Lehigh had 55). Come on, Painter...