Aug. 12, 2012
MONTECATINI, Italy - The Purdue men's basketball team clawed back from a nine-point halftime deficit on Sunday before falling to Lithuanian professional team Atletas Kaunas, 82-79.
Tied at 79 with roughly 13 seconds left, senior guard/forward D.J. Byrd's layup attempt over Atletas Kaunas' center rimmed out. Atletas advanced the ball down court and connected on the eventual game-winning three-point field goal from the left wing. Byrd's three-point attempt fell just short of tying the game as time ran out.
The Boilers were down nine at the half, but came roaring out of the break with a 16-3 run to open the third quarter. Freshman guard Rapheal Davis' dunk at the 5:35 mark of the period put Purdue on top for the first time since early in the contest, and it was a back-and-forth battle from that point.
Redshirt freshman forward Donnie Hale was an offensive bright spot on a tough shooting night for the Boilermakers, netting a team-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting (.727). The New Albany, Ind., native also added five rebounds and a block on the night.
Brothers Terone and Ronnie Johnson each scored 10 points on the night, the latter's all coming in a dynamic second half. Ronnie Johnson also led Purdue with three assists and four steals, while Terone chipped in with three steals of his own to go along with three rebounds. The Boilermakers also got eight points from sophomore guard Anthony Johnson and seven from Byrd.
Junior forward Sandi Marcius had a monster game on the glass, finishing with 14 rebounds in front of his family, who traveled from Croatia to attend the game.
Byrd, Davis, junior forward Travis Carroll, sophomore forward Jacob Lawson and freshman center A.J. Hammons each posted four boards in a balanced Purdue rebounding effort. The Boilermakers collected 27 offensive rebounds as a team, getting eight from Marcius and four apiece from Carroll, Hale and Lawson.
Despite shooting just over 40 percent from the field as a team, Purdue was 19-of-26 from the free throw line, good for 73.1 percent.
The Boilermakers will travel to Venice on Monday, where they will return to action on Tuesday night against Vicenza All-Star. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. local time (1:30 p.m. ET) at the Palasport on Via Manzoni Creazzo.