Purdue’s A.J. Hammons comes up big in defeat
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org January 30, 2013 11:24PM
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - JANUARY 30: A.J. Hammons #20 of the Purdue Boilermakers dunks the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers at Mackey Arena on January 30, 2013 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Updated: March 2, 2013 11:49AM
WEST LAFAYETTE — Individually, A.J. Hammons played exceptionally well in his first experience against Indiana, save for first-half foul trouble.
Purdue’s freshman center had a career-high 30 points — on 10-of-14 shooting from the field, and 10-of-12 from the foul line — and five blocked shots in 28 minutes.
“We lost,” Hammons said when asked how he played, as Indiana routed the Boilermakers 97-60 on Wednesday night at Mackey Arena.
After Cody Zeller walked on the Hoosiers’ first possession, Hammons blocked the star big man’s shot. Zeller completed a three-point play, before Hammons answered with a dunk.
Hammons then headed to the bench with his second foul with 15:59 left in the first half, before returning at the 10:13 mark, a relatively unusual move for Purdue coach Matt Painter. Hammons netted a three-point play with 5:21 left in the half, then added a dunk off a feed from Ronnie Johnson 40 seconds later, before picking up his third foul with 4:18 left, heading to the bench with nine points in 10 minutes.
Hammons scored Purdue’s first six points of second half, when he scored 21.
“I was happy to see him (Hammons) running the court like he was doing,” Travis Carroll said. “That’s something he really improved on this game.”
The Hoosiers didn’t double-team the post, but coach Tom Crean complimented Hammons.
“A.J. Hammons showed what he’s capable of,” he said. “… He’s going to be very good, there’s no doubt about it.”
Locking down: In addition to scoring 17 points, Victor Oladipo played excellent defense, including helping limit Terone Johnson to four points. Johnson had entered the game leading the Boilermakers with an average of 13.5 points.
“I thought Oladipo was great,” Painter said. “He did a great job of getting into our guys.”