Mathias

Mathias, Purdue Hold Off Terps, 83-79

West Lafayette, IN – AJ Hammons’ 19 points and 7 rebounds along with a career day by Dakota Mathias led #20 Purdue to victory over #10 Maryland at home Saturday afternoon.

Purdue (22-7,10-6) won their sixth consecutive home game and improved to 13-0 when Rapheal Davis scores in double figures.  Maryland (23-6, 11-5) has now lost three of their last four games and trails Indiana by 2 games in the Big Ten title race.

Purdue was able to overcome a late second-half rally to put the Terrapins away.  Purdue led 74-64 with 3:50 remaining before a 12-2 run by Maryland tied the game at 76-76.  Purdue sealed the game at the free throw line and walked out of Mackey Arena with an 83-79 victory.

According to Mark Turgeon, “The biggest difference was rebounding and second chance points.”  Purdue had a 41-22 advantage on the glass which translated into a 24-10 margin on second chance points.  Purdue turned the ball over 15 times to Maryland’s 6 but it wasn’t enough to overcome the disparity on the glass.  Rapheal Davis echoed that sentiment, “If you turn the ball over, you’ve got to get them on the glass.”

The Boilermakers jumped out to an early 24-8 advantage before Maryland used a 21-7 run of their own to close the gap to 31-29.  After trading baskets for much of the rest of the half, Dakota Mathias hit a jumper at the halftime buzzer to put Purdue up 44-39 at the break.

Purdue was paced by Mathias’ 12 points in the first half which helped to soften up the Maryland Defense.  Mathias said after the game, “I made some shots and that stretches out the defense.  They have to honor it and that gives AJ more room to work inside.” Rapheal Davis also chipped in with 7 points and 5 rebounds in the opening period.  Maryland was led by Diamond Stone and Jake Layman who scored 10 and 7 points respectively.  Purdue held a 21-9 rebound advantage throughout the first half.

After Maryland scored the first basket of the second half to cut Purdue’s lead to 3, the Boilermakers responded with an 11-6 capped by an alley-oop from P.J. Thompson to Vince Edwards to push the lead to 55-47.

The Terrapins cut the lead to 58-56 with 10:46 remaining.  Purdue once again answered behind a 3-pointer and layup by Caleb Swanigan to extend the lead to 63-56 with 7:54 left in the game.  After a few more back and forth baskets by each team, AJ Hammons hit his second 3-pointer of the game to give Purdue a 74-64 lead with 3:50 remaining.

Matt Riehle/DeepDishWL
Matt Riehle/DeepDishWL

After the media timeout, the Terrapins applied the pressure forcing Purdue into three straight turnovers which translated into a 7-0 run for Maryland to trim the lead to 74-71 with 3:12 to go in the game.  After a pair of free throw gave Purdue a 76-71 lead, Maryland used a couple more turnovers to tie the game at 76-76.

Purdue extended the lead to 79-76 after a Johnny Hill layup with just over a minute to go in the game.  After Melo Trimble split a pair of free throws, Purdue corralled an offensive rebound and Raphael Davis made two free throws with 23.1 seconds remaining to make the score 81-77.  After trading free throws, Purdue was able to escape with an 83-79 victory.

When asked what the win meant for Purdue, coach Matt Painter responded, “It helps us having quality wins and helps us heading into the Big Ten tourney.  Any time you beat a top 10 team, it will help you heading into the NCAA tournament and help with your seeding.  We’ve put together a pretty good resume.”  He also touched on the full-court pressure that helped Maryland get back into the game, “We got passive.  We worked on it all week.  We have to look at our goal and we have to use our dribble to break the pressure.”

Purdue finished with five players in double figures.  The aforementioned Hammons finished with 19 points and 7 rebounds, Dakota Mathias scored 17 points off the bench, and Vince Edwards and Rapheal Davis both chipped in with 11.  Caleb Swanigan also contributed with 10 points and 6 rebounds.

Melo Trimble finished with 19 points and 5 assists, and Diamond Stone had 18 points and 5 rebounds to lead Maryland.  The Terrapins also received 15 points from Jake Layman.

Purdue heads on the road to take on Nebraska on Tuesday.  Maryland will head back home to face Illinois on Wednesday.

We will post a photo gallery and post game press conferences later tonight
Follow Robbie, Jordan and Matt on Twitter @Rob_Dupre3, @JordanKessler09, & @MatthewRiehle 

FINAL STATS

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