Sasha Stefanovic

Casey Abbett / WBAA

The beginning to a new year is always a time of great excitement and promise. So many things to look forward to and goals to achieve.

The Purdue Boilermakers and Minnesota Golden Gophers delivered on the promise of excitement with a double overtime thriller in Mackey Arena to get the year started Thursday.

Purdue was able to overcome a sometimes sloppy performance (15 turnovers, a season high) to secure its eighth win of the season, as neither team was able to build much of a lead throughout the game.

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.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

After a statement win against fifth-ranked Virginia earlier this week, the Purdue Men's basketball team opened the Big Ten regular season campaign at home against Northwestern Sunday, in a game that again pointed out this season's up-and-down offense. The 58-44 victory was relatively easy, but showed vulnerability as the conference season gets underway.

Both teams seemed to be allergic to scoring early in the ballgame, logging empty possession after empty possession. Northwestern shot just 27 percent in the first half, hitting only six shots.

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

With the Purdue lead at just ten points at halftime over Rutgers it looked like there was going to be a close game in Mackey Arena Tuesday night. But when the second half came to a close it was anything but, as the Boilermakers had soundly defeated the Scarlet Knights 89-54. 

Purdue dominated in almost all facets of the game. Their bench scored nearly 40 points, turned 19 turnovers into 24 points, and swiped nine steals. 

Purdue outscored their opponents 49-24 in the second half and shot 50% from beyond the arc, hitting 14 three-pointers.