Old Gold And Black Stomps Big Red
The No. 7 Purdue Boilermakers returned home to Mackey Arena after a ten-day break between games and showed no signs of rust as they steamrolled past Nebraska, 92-65, Friday night.
The Boilermakers (14-2, 3-2 in conference) never trailed and used a 20-2 run to open up a 23-4 lead over the Huskers (6-12, 0-6) in the first eight minutes of the game.
Purdue’s defense, which has been questionable at times, made steps in the right direction. The Boilermakers forced 17 turnovers that turned into 28 points. Purdue also blocked five shots and notched seven steals.
“We’re making great strides (defensively), but in no stretch of the imagination have we arrived,” said coach Matt Painter after winning his 200th conference game. “We just have to keep working on containing the dribble and doing a good job as a team of helping each other.”
The Boilers used their superior size around the basket to draw a substantial amount of shooting fouls. In total, Nebraska was whistled 21 times and four Huskers recorded at least three fouls. Of 27 free attempts, Purdue made 19, which was six more than the Huskers attempted (5 of 13).
“We always try to draw as many fouls as possible,” said sophomore center Zach Edey who scored a game-high 22 points in only 20 minutes on the floor. “A lot of schools don’t have that second or third big man that's really good. Trying to get their starters, trying to get their second dude off the bench in foul trouble really puts them in a bind early.”
Fellow sophomore Jaden Ivey scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half to help with the substantial lead early in the game. He also dished out five assists.
Though the Boilers, unbeaten in eight games against the Huskers at Mackey, got an unexpected break in the middle of the season on Tuesday due to a cancellation with Michigan because of health and safety protocols.
The game against the Huskers, whom they’ve beaten by an average margin of 15.5 points in their last eight victories against them, started a stretch in which they’ll play four games in 12 days.
The Boilers’ next game is a ranked matchup against No. 25 Illinois in Champaign Monday afternoon. Tip-off is set for noon on the Martin Luther King Day holiday.