Maybe it was holiday home cooking. Or perhaps it was just a comfortable arena and an overmatched mid-major opponent.
Either way, the Purdue men's basketball team returned home to Mackey Arena Saturday after a lackluster three-game swing across the Midwest, and produced one of its best offensive perfromances of the season in a 97-62 drubbing of Central Michigan.
Purdue won just one of three games away from West Lafayette, including losses to Nebraska and Butler that both featured poor offensive performances.
Purdue used a first half shooting barrage against the Chippewas to open up a 30-point lead at halftime. In all Purdue hit ten three pointers in the first half, utilizing a size advantage inside to create double teams and kick outs that resulted in long range buckets. The Boilers also took advantage of Central Michigan's carelessness with the ball, turning 22 turnovers into 21 points on the other end.
In the win, Purdue's Sasha Stefanovic put up career highs in points with 23, three pointers made (seven) and assists (six).
Trevion Williams registered a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in only 20 minutes of play. Eric Hunter chipped in 16 points and dished out six dimes of his own. And center Matt Haarms returned to the court after missing the last two games with a concussion, scoring 11 points in his return.
Purdue also dominated at the defensive end, holding the Chippewas (who've averaged close to 90 points per game) to 21 in the first half. Central Michigan also struggled from beyond the arc -- an area where they had shot very well coming into the game -- netting just 3-of-22 tries from long range.
Matt Painter's squad will return to Mackey Arena and Big Ten Conference play on Jan. 2 as they host the Minnesota Golden Gophers.