By BRIAN PELOZA
WEST LAFAYETTE —
As the shot clock was winding down in the first half, Purdue redshirt freshman Donnie Hale banked-in a perimeter jumper.
After the game, Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen joked Hale did not use proper protocol for such a shot.
“I don’t think he called bank,” Paulsen said, “at least I couldn’t hear him.”
Purdue lost its season-opener to Bucknell, 70-65, as part of the 2K Sports Classic. While making shots off glass isn’t likely going to be the norm, Hale showed himself to be a possible threat on the perimeter.
The New Albany High School graduate led Purdue with 15 points on 7 of 12 shooting, making several perimeter shots and working well without the ball to get for severall ayups.
“I thought he did some good things and knocked down some shots,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “He didn’t really come in with a reputation of a guy that can shoot the basketball, but he’s done a really good job for us of knocking down a perimeter shot.”
Most of Hale’s perimeter shots, which have a noticeable high arc and arm rotation, were taken a foot or two inside the 3-point line.
“He’s a little unorthodox — his shot — but he’s been pretty consistent,” Painter said.
Hale also showed an ability to have memory loss when needed. Purdue trailed 65-61 with 1:37 remaining when Hale airballed a jumper.
On the Boilermakers’ next possession, Hale made a similar shot to cut Bucknell’s lead to a possession, 65-63, with 56 seconds remaining.
D.J. Byrd missed a wide-open 3-pointer with two seconds remaining that would have tied the game at 68. Bucknell then made two free throws to ice the outcome.
Purdue shot 28 of 61 (45.9 percent) from the field, but took several questionable shot. The Boilermakers played four freshmen and Hale, a redshirt freshmen - for at least 10 minutes apiece.
“We definitely forced shots and I know I forced a couple myself, too,” Hale said. “I think we need to get used to moving the ball even if we think we have that open shot. Because it will come back at the end. As long as we move the ball and get open shots, we should be fine.”
It wasn’t all praise, though, for Hale in his opening game.
“He brings energy but he needs to do a better job on the glass,” said Painter of Hale, who had four rebounds. “He didn’t get an offensive rebound in 26 minutes, but he’s making strides. For his first college game I thought he did a good job.”
Purdue’s starting center Sandi Marcius was in foul trouble for most of the night, which led to Hale playing the center position some.
“It was a little bit of both (necessity and matchup reasons),” Painter said.
Purdue (0-1) will host Hofstra at 2 p.m. Sunday.