Boilermaker Basketball: Freshmen Drive the Train

The Purdue Boilermakers faced the Penn State Nittany Lions who were riding a 13 game conference losing streak tonight at The Bryce Jordan Library Center.  The Boilermakers were able to pull off a victory after a strong second half effort winning 58 to 49. If you didn't watch the game you would say, a nine point win to Penn State? How is that a strong second half?

Well in the first half, our Boilermakers were down 9 with 5 minutes to play but after a strong last three minutes, the Boilers were able to get on a roll at the end of the half and carried that through half-time to take over the game.  Let's make one thing clear though, this Penn State team is AWFUL. They really miss Frazier and would be a completely different team with him.

The highlight of the night was the performance of the Boilermaker freshman.  The group of Ronnie Johnson, Donnie Hale, Raphael Davis and A.J. Hammons were a combined 54 percent from the field and amounted for 49 of the Boilers 58 points, pretty impressive.  Hale had a double double off the bench and Hammons had one as well.  Pretty impressive for a rather low scoring game.

Ronnie Johnson was impressive tonight. At times he looked unstoppable driving even going right a lot of the time, something we didn't see a lot out of him at the beginning of the season, and with only one turnover some progress is being made.  The free throw shot still needs some improvement.  At the end of the game he missed five in a row, ouch.

Davis had just a solid performance tonight but nothing special. He took a limited amount of shots and shot 50 percent from the field.

One thing that was concerning was the lack of 3-point offense again.  Once again the team was blanked again from beyond the arc for the second time this season.  DJ struggled and even looked hesitant in the second half.  Good news for the Boilermakers, Penn State wasn't good enough to capitalize.

DJ and TJ were still MIA tonight.  A combined 3-18 is impressive for two upperclassmen.  It is unacceptable really.  These two are what this team is missing right now.  I understand that you cannot be hot every night, but that is just awful.  Terone was taking bad shots and DJ just wasn't hitting good attempts, but hopefully they will start to click soon.

Overall it was good to see the Boilermakers battle back and get a victory, even if they were playing an awful team.

Here are a few of the Penn State stats that stick out, 19-62 from the field and 2-20 from beyond the arc. That says it all right there.  I didn't know if there was a worse shooting team in the conference than the Boilers, but Penn State takes that one, hands down.

A road victory isn't the easiest thing to come by in the Big Ten and it's nice to come out and get a win tonight, especially after such an awful week.  Now that the paper lions are in the record book it's time to refocus onto the Spartans coming into town on Saturday.  If you are doing nothing, you might as well get out to Mackey for this one, even if it's for no other reason than giving Brandon Dawson hell.

Choo Choo Muthas.


Oh toughness, where hath thou gone?