8:00 PM ET, January 3, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Years down the road, when Jamal Abu-Shamala wants to show people what he was like as a basketball player, all he'll need to do is pop in a DVD of the second half of Wednesday night's game against Purdue.He knocked down open 3-pointers, took charges and dived for loose balls, scoring 12 of his 14 points in the period to ignite Minnesota in a 65-59 victory."That's my game -- to bring energy. I got some open looks from 3 and knocked them down, but it's basically energy," Abu-Shamala said. "Bring energy, intensity and that's what I tried to do."Lawrence McKenzie added 23 points and Dan Coleman had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Gophers (7-8, 1-0 Big Ten), who made 8-of-10 3-pointers and shot 65 percent in the second half to overcame 22 turnovers.Carl Landry had 20 points and seven rebounds for Purdue (11-4, 0-1), which was gunning for its first 12-3 start since 1997-98."This is really frustrating for us," Purdue's Chris Kramer said. "But this gives us something to build on. We can't lose again. That's how we have to look at it now."The Gophers didn't hold a lead for the first 36 minutes of the game before Abu-Shamala sparked a rally with shooting and pure hustle.Even with the Gophers struggling under an interim coach and plenty of good seats available at Williams Arena, "The Barn" can still get rocking. And it did when Abu-Shamala hit a wide open 3-pointer to cut Purdue's lead to 48-46 with 5:40 to go.The sophomore from Shakopee was a spark all second half, getting a steal and layup one minute later and drawing two charges to bring the crowd to its feet."He had an outstanding game," coach Jim Molinari said. "I don't know if he's ever been better."After the second charge, McKenzie hit two free throws to tie the game at 50 with 4:30 to play, starting a 9-0 run.Coleman's two free throws with 4:13 to go gave the Gophers their first lead of the game at 52-50, and McKenzie punctuated the spurt with a long 3-pointer a minute later.David Teague, who scored 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting, stopped the run with a runner in the lane coming out of a timeout to cut Purdue's deficit to 55-52.But McKenzie, who scored 17 points in the second half on Saturday to rescue the Gophers in a win over Southeast Louisiana, hit a step-back jumper and Abu-Shamala added one more 3-pointer to keep the Boilermakers at bay.Keaton Grant hit a 3-pointer with 31 seconds to play that made the score 62-59, and the Gophers turned it over to make things interesting. But Gordon Watt and Teague both missed 3-pointers after forcing a Minnesota turnover with 15 seconds to go."The monkey is still on our back, and we have to get it off," Landry said. "We'll go back to the drawing board."It was a tough loss for Purdue, which shot just 36 percent to nullify all those Minnesota turnovers. The Boilermakers led by nine with 14 minutes to go, but couldn't close the deal."Anytime you lose it stings, especially on the road when you put yourselves in a position to have a chance down the stretch," Purdue coach Matt Painter said.They had a chance to essentially put the game away in the first half when they forced 14 turnovers, but they shot just 30 percent in the period and only held a 25-20 lead at the break."That was huge," Painter said. "We should've been in a better position at halftime."
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||22-61 (.361)||21-38 (.553)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-17 (.176)||8-10 (.800)|
|FT Made-Attempted||12-14 (.857)||15-21 (.714)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||12 (0/0)|