Eric Hunter

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.

Three-point Shooting Improves As Purdue Men Beat Ohio

Dec 17, 2019

There are a couple main ways in basketball to take a three-point shot.

One is the way Purdue's men's basketball team did it all too often in a messy loss Sunday at Nebraska -- settling for an outside look when the team is not shooting well and when an interior shot against smaller defenders is a much higher percentage play.

The second is the way Purdue did it Tuesday against the Ohio University Bobcats -- using offensive motion to open up easy shots and (at least in the first half) knock them down.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

The last time the Purdue men's basketball team met the Virginia Cavaliers is a sore subject for the Boilermaker faithful. It was March in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in Louisville, with Virginia winning in overtime, following a last-second basket to tie the game and send it into the extra frame.

Virginia would eventually capture its first national championship and the Boilermakers would go home thinking about what could have been.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

Not since February of 2018 had the Purdue men's basketball team lost at home, coming into Saturday night. That changes as the 23rd-ranked Boilermakers were thwarted 70-66 by Texas in a back-and-forth grinder of a game.

Sasha Stefanovic got off to a hot start after missing the team's first game with an ankle injury. He hit his first four three point attempts, but made just one shot the rest of the game.

Still, his 14 points represented a team high as Purdue struggled to score the ball all evening, shooting just 41 percent from the field.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

The Purdue Men's basketball team is now 1-0 on the season after a 79-57 win over Wisconsin-Green Bay -- a question easily answered after the unveiling of the team's 24th Big Ten regular season championship banner, commemorating a 2018-2019 season that went better than almost anyone predicted.

Now come the harder questions for Head Coach Matt Painter's team.