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Change In Starting Lineup Leads To Change In Result For Purdue Men's Basketball

Kristin Malavenda/WBAA News

After a disappointing 73-70 loss to North Florida Saturday, Purdue men’s basketball coach Matt Painter switched things up from the start tonight against IPFW. Painter gave freshmen PJ Thompson and Isaac Haas their first career starts for Purdue, in favor of sophomore Kendall Stephens and junior AJ Hammons.

Painter says the freshmen deserved the starts based on their play.

“We gotta get some guys to either separate themselves, or we gotta get some guys to really accept their roles and understand, you know, one night I might play ten minutes, one night 15, other nights 25, and then still be a good teammate through that,” says Painter. “That’s part of competitive sports, competitive team sports.”

Haas responded to his first career start by scoring 10 points, all in the first half.

Stephens and Hammons had strong performances off the bench.

They finished with a game-high 13 points each.

Hammons added 12 rebounds and five blocked shots.

He says Painter told him after the North Florida game that he would not be in the starting lineup against IPFW.

“He pretty much told me I’m not producing, I’m not doing what I need to do, so he was gonna start Isaac,” says Hammons. “I was like, alright, that’s a wake-up call. But coming off the bench really doesn’t bother me. I know I’ve still gotta play hard at the end of the day.”

The Boilermakers defeated the Mastodons 64-43.

Purdue blocked 10 shots, beat IPFW on the boards, and got 32 points from the bench.

But the Boilers shot just 29% from behind the arc and continued their trend of slow second half starts, allowing the Mastodons to cut the lead to 44-37 with a little more than ten minutes remaining before pulling away for good.

Purdue improves to 7-2 on the season and return to action Wednesday night against Arkansas State at Mackey Arena.

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