West Lafayette, IN – The eighteenth ranked Purdue Boilermakers knocked off the eighth ranked Michigan State Spartans in overtime 82-81.
The Boilermakers controlled the entire first half behind an strong 19-point performance from senior guard Raphael Davis, leading by as many as 17 points. The second half saw Purdue extend their lead to as many as 18 until the Spartans made a furious comeback with Player of the Year candidate, senior guard, Denzel Valentine’s 15 second half points. The game swung back and forth in regulation and overtime until Davis hit a go ahead free throw with five seconds left giving Purdue the win.
Davis led the way for Purdue, finishing with 24 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Davis is an off the ball guard who attacks the defense relentlessly with a soft touch around the rim. Defensively, he is a high IQ, tough defender, who never gives up on a play. While he doesn’t have ideal lateral speed he makes up for any deficiencies with his effort and intelligence of where he should be on the floor.
Senior center, AJ Hammons, dominated the game on both ends of the floor with 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks. Hammons showed a good touch around the rim and did a great job of drawing contact from his defenders and making them pay from the free throw line, shooting seven for nine. The defensive end is where Hammons is changed the entire game, being active, altering shots and bringing down seemingly every rebound.
For the Spartans tonight, everything stopped and started with Denzel Valentine. Valentine is a gritty tough guard who is capable of doing everything. He displayed this perfectly tonight in his box score with 27 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds. Offensively he is a ball handling lead guard who is capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor. Valentine has great vision and routinely finds the open on the drive and kick. On the defensive end Valentine shows the capability to move his feet well and stay in front of his man routinely forcing tough shots. The best part of Valentines game is his leadership. He shows command on both ends of the floor talking with his teammates and constantly bringing energy. Valentine truly is a do everything guard with a bright NBA future ahead of him.
Michigan State will look to rebound this Sunday when they host the Indiana Hoosiers. The Boilermakers will look to maintain their winning ways on the road Saturday at Michigan.
This article was written by Nick Hinojosa, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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