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December 15, 2012
Matt Painter didn't have any special instructions for Rapheal Davis before putting him into the game in the middle of the second half.
Painter simply chirped down the bench, "Go in for Jacob (Lawson)," like he usually does.
But Davis had seen what was happening: His Purdue team was struggling to score.
The Boilermakers managed only one basket in a nearly 10-minute stretch to start the second half in its eventual 81-68 loss to No. 22 Notre Dame on Saturday.
So Davis decided to do what he does best: Score.
And did he ever.
In the final 10:22, Davis made eight of nine shots, four of five free throws and scored 21 points.
"When I was on the bench, I was sitting next to Jay (Simpson) and we realized there was a point where five, six minutes went by and we didn't score the second half. We needed to score," Davis said. "So I went in and just wanted to attack the basket. We were shooting a lot of jump shots and just needed somebody to attack the basket.
"I came out and just played my game."
Davis had played limited minutes of late, only reaching double-digits once in the last six games before Saturday.
He played six first-half minutes against Notre Dame, and his second-half surge kept him on the floor and pushed his total to a season-best-tying 18 minutes.
Davis is hoping his effort against the Irish will lead to him getting more playing time, but he also said he knows to keep learning, playing better defense and becoming a student of the game.
Painter said it could.
"That definitely was a pleasant surprise for us," Painter said of Davis' play. "He just needs time. He needs minutes. It's hard with the makeup of our team sometimes for that to happen, but if you play that well consistently you're going to put yourself in position where you're going to be out there a lot."
And Davis did his damage against Notre Dame's starters, simply beating them off the dribble and sometimes bullying through them to finish near the rim.
He also stuck a couple jump shots, including a three-pointer from the top of the key.
"He got going, didn't he?" Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "We didn't expect that out of him, but he was hard to guard."
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