A Teammate Motivates Purifoy to Second Half Surge
Danjel Purifoy (3) (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Dakota Sumpter)
In Auburn Basketball’s 83-65 win over Georgia State on Monday night, redshirt freshman forward Danjel Purifoy ended the night with 19 points, 4 rebounds, and was 8-10 from the free throw line. Purifoy’s final line was definitely a highlight of the game, but when 17 of those points, as well as all four rebounds and eight points from the charity stripe, came in the second half, his final line becomes more impressive. What fueled his second half spark? Purifoy says that he had a teammate in mind. “The whole game, I planned on playing for one of my teammates, Laron Smith,” Purifoy said after the game. Smith, a graduate student from Palm Bay, Florida, played two seasons for Georgia State. In that time, he played in 24 games for the Panthers, before transferring to Bethune-Cookman to finish his undergraduate degree. Before the game, Smith posted a picture of him during his time at Georgia State to his twitter account with the caption: “Yeah that's me on the bench, Sat there for 2 straight years....but God had a plan. #GameDay #BeatGeorgiaState” Not only did Smith have a grudge against Georgia State, his teammates wanted to help him seek revenge in any way that they could. “They treated him bad at Georgia State, he didn’t play much. I told him that we were going to come out and get this win,” said Purifoy. “In the second half, that’s what I came out with. That is what I had in my mind the whole time, just playing for LaRon.” How did Smith feel after his current team defeated Georgia State at Auburn Arena on Monday? He was all smiles, according to Purifoy. “He was just all teeth. You could not get him to stop smiling. That is something that’s good to see. He really wanted this win.” Smith ended the night with 3 blocks, 2 points, and a rebound in the win.