Purdue center A.J. Hammons walks off the court following Purdue's 97-60 loss to Indiana in an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
The Big Number
Entering this week, Penn State was ranked 324th out of 345 Division I teams in field goal percentage (38.9).
A.J. Hammons was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, after posting a career-high 30 points, five rebounds and five blocked shots against Indiana, and 19 points and a career-high 13 rebounds at Northwestern. He is the first Boilermakers player to win that award since it began before last season, and the first Purdue player to win any weekly conference award this season.
“He had good numbers, but I was kind of shocked to see he was Freshman of the Week, because we lost both games,” coach Matt Painter said. “You probably shouldn’t get an award when you lose both games, but he has done a good job for us.
“He’s made improvements from game to game, gotten better. He’s still trying to pick up some of the nuances of post play in the Big Ten and learning to get an advantage offensively by getting earlier position, by getting deeper position, and then handling when people double him or come down ball-side. Defensively, he has to do a better job of just getting in a stance and being solid. People are going to continue to attack him off ball-screens, and he just has to do as good a job as he can being in a stance.”
— Michael Osipoff
Updated: February 12, 2013 11:55PM
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Ronnie Johnson scored 16 points and A.J. Hammons 15 as Purdue downed Penn State 58-49 Tuesday night to even its Big Ten record at 5-5 while keeping Penn State winless in the conference.
The Boilermakers (12-11) struggled through shooting woes, going 0-for-10 on 3-pointers and shooting 40.8 percent (20 of 49) overall. But it was considerably better than Penn State’s 19-of-62 (30.6 percent) performance.
Combined, the two teams were 2 for 30 from 3-point range.
Hammons’ points came primarily from the free-throw line, hitting 11 of 12 to complement to two field goals for the Boilermakers.
D.J. Newbill, who had seven previous 20-point games for Penn State, scored 17 to lead the Nittany Lions (8-14, 0-10). It was the 19th game this season Newbill scored in double figures.
Purdue held Penn State’s Jermaine Marshall to seven points. Marshall, along with Newbill, averages 18 points per game.
Penn State outrebounded Purdue, the conference leader, 42-37, and pulled to within 52-47 with 3:40 to play. Despite the rebounding disadvantage, the Boilermakers managed to outscore Penn State 36-20 with points in the paint.
The Boilermakers led by 10 with just under 8 minutes to play but a 7-for-14 performance from the foul line prevented Purdue from pulling away.
Purdue and Penn State had been on opposite schedules as the Boilermakers were playing their fifth game in 13 days while Penn State was involved in just its second game in 10 days with a four-day break around each game.
Purdue found some energy with a run of 8-4 to end the first half and 7-1 to open the second as Johnson and Hammons tossed in four and three, respectively.
Penn State tied the game at 31 behind baskets by Newbill and Ross Travis but Purdue quickly went on an 18-6 run, building a 49-39 lead and forcing a Penn State timeout.
Newbill scored six straight points for Penn State to breathe a little life into the Lions, but Sasa Borovnjak (5:56) and Jon Graham (4:53) fouled out as Purdue led 52-45.