Ray Davis Three-Point Shooting Prowess Takes Down Hawkeyes, 67-63
On a day when both teams were depleted, Purdue gutted out a win on their home court to move to 4-3 in the Big Ten. A lot of things don’t make sense when you look at the stat sheet, so allow me to try to make sense of it all. Starters: AJ, Vince, Octeus, Dakota, Captain Ray.
Finishers: Ray and Basil finished the sh-t out of the Hawkeyes.
The Boilers came out in their gold jerseys for the first time this season and seemed a bit sluggish, falling behind 8-2 early. AJ Hammons was back in the starting lineup and Dakota Mathias also made his first start. Once Purdue woke up from their start, they began to look better, though a lot of that was aided by the fact that Iowa went icy cold during the first half, winding up shooting 33% from the floor for the game. Iowa’s Aaron White made his first two buckets but then looked too suffer a shoulder injury (perhaps a separation?) on a collision with Vince on which White was called for a foul. Purdue stretched their lead out to twelve points as halftime closed in and they went into the break up ten. None of us had any idea how to handle this, obviously.
If Purdue came out and played the second half we’ve seen a bunch of times this season, this could really have turned into a laugher… but, of course, that’s not what happened. Instead, Purdue allowed the Hawkeyes to hang around and continually close the gap down to uncomfortable levels before making a bucket here or there to keep the lead in the 5-7 range. With 7:18 to go, AJ made the last FG by anyone on Purdue other than Ray Davis and Purdue led by five. With a little over five minutes to go, Ray made a bucket and the lead was still five. Mike Gesell then scored ten straight for Iowa while Purdue mustered four points on four FTs. With 1:19 to go, Gesell’s basket gave Iowa their first lead since before midway through the first half.
The Boilermakers called a timeout and then came out and their offensive set looked like…they hadn’t really called a timeout. Or they had, but had discussed geopolitics in the huddle instead of what play to run. With the shot clock winding down, Ray Davis found himself open several feet beyond the arc….where he calmly drained his third three of the game to put Purdue ahead for good. A few rebounds and shaky free throws by Basil followed and the Purdue had their fourth Big Ten win of the season.
- Raphael Davis had himself a game. With Kid Stephens still slowed by his finger injury and Jon Octeus not making a FG in the entire game, the offense had to come from somewhere. Ray scored 24, including 60% (!) from beyond the arc (3/5), accounting for three of Purdue’s four made threes. Ray was 8/14 from the field overall, 5/9 from the line and in making a few threes, he may affect how teams defend him now. You can’t sag off him if he’s going to knock some of the down.
- Everything’s better with Basil. Smotherman would probably be the player of the game if not for RayDay’s massive onions showing today. Basil had his best game as a Boilermaker, scoring a career-high 13 points. But I’m not saying it was his best game b/c of the career high in points. It’s because he just had an all-around stout game. 5/6 from the floor, six rebounds an assist, a steal and two blocks. And two of those rebounds were critical ones in the final minute to slam the door. That he only made 2/4 from the line salting it away is something we’ll let go for now since it was enough. Great job, stepping up when needed.
- Gold jerseys! It was suggested on twitter that Purdue adopt these as their regular home look, which I’ve got no problem with. However, it’s not like the whites look bad and it is sort of neat for the golds to be an occasional treat. Gotta wear ‘em again Wednesday night.
- A thunderdunk by Basil that got the crowd to their feet late in the first half and seemed to energize Basil and the boys:
- The AJ and Ike Show. Hammons got the start but these two continued to share time and do so effectively. AJ went a tidy 5/6 from the field and scored 13 points, along with one perfectly-timed block to cool off Iowa’s lone offensive threat today, Mike Gesell. Haas had four blocks off the bench and ten points.
- Purdue cleaned up their turnover situation, committing just six today (vs eight for Iowa).
- A win over a ranked team. Sure, Iowa is now just 13-7 (4-3) and was only #25 coming into the game, but Purdue had lost 13 straight against ranked opponents. They get another one on Wednesday and that win would mean even more.
- Shooting 20% (4/20) from three. Yikes.
- I’ll mention Mathias here for his cold shooting (1/7 overall, 0/4 from deep), but I’ll also point out that he had five rebounds, two assists and his one bucket was on a pretty backdoor cut. I definitely like the direction he is heading – you can see him slowly getting better as the game slows down a bit. But today wasn’t a pretty one.
- Free throw shooting. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. Purdue managed to be worse (57%) than Iowa (65%).
- Purdue refusing to go strong to the rim. I don’t ever understand why any team, really, won’t go hard to the hole when the other team is in foul trouble. AJ needs to go strong and draw the fouls – even if his FT shooting isn’t going well, getting the other team’s bigs out of there is great. Ray had one or two of these, too, where he lofted a floater instead of driving a bit, but Ray gets a pass to do whatever he wants right now after that game.
- This nugget from Chris Forman:
Boilers now just 24-of-43 (.558) on and-one chances this year after Davis' miss. #BoilerNotes
— Chris Forman (@ChrisForman12) January 24, 2015
- Purdue’s rebounding at many times throughout the game could be described as bad, but I’m putting it under Ugly. Outrebounded 46-31 for the game, there were many occasions where Purdue players just gazed at rebounds on the defensive end, which, come on. Iowa had 24 offensive rebounds – Purdue only had 22 defensive I’ve said it before that rebounding often tells the story of a game’s outcome. This time was different because of how ineffective Iowa was shooting the ball.
- Kendall Stephens finger injury. The Kid gave it a go and played 15 minutes, but he was 0/4 from the field (0/3 from long range). He did, however, pick up four dimes, which is a nice little contribution. Man, I want him to get healthy.
- PJ Thompson just doesn’t look ready. He was also 0/4 (0/3) today and also earned Purdue a 10-second violation by not being able to handle some pressure. I think we all like PJ and hope he develops into the potential that was seen in him, but right now it’s a little worrisome to think that Jon Octeus has only two months or so left in Black and Old Gold.
- Speaking of Octeus, Doc Oc had a pretty pedestrian game according to the stat sheet, only registering a single point and nearly fouling out. But he did contribute five rebounds and three assists and I found myself thinking that even though he wasn’t scoring at all, I still feel much more comfortable when he is on the floor than when he isn’t.
The game was over when…
…Raphael Bartholomew Davis* hit a swinging-cojones three-pointer with 50 seconds to go to put Purdue ahead 65-63. Iowa would miss their final three shots and Purdue sealed it.
*Likely not Ray’s real middle name
Tweets of the Day
Kind of thin here, everyone. I know it’s cold and dreary this time of year, but let’s step it up. In the absence of that, let’s watch Mike pick on the Swamy:
— Michael Henry (@therailroadtie) January 24, 2015
Aneesh will no longer be allowed to watch Purdue games live. (Live games, that is – we’re not going to kill him.)
Before last game, Purdue's Raphael Davis was 2-for-17 from 3-point range on the season. 5-for-9 in last two. Hit go-ahead 3 today vs. Iowa — Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) January 24, 2015
Iowa leads Raphael Davis by 8 at the half. #Purdue
— Ben Cotton (@FunnelFiasco) January 24, 2015
Cover photo courtesy of Larry Hawley.