Boilers Roll to Eight Straight; Whip TSU 97-48
When Boogie Edwards and PJ Thompson combine for 43 points, chances are, it'll be a good night. In an early game on Thursday evening in Mackey Arena, they did, and It was. Purdue led by a large margin...for most of the game as they prepared for a Santa-sized Christmas break (The Forces of Good will play again on the 30th of December) before cruising to an easy victory.
Boogie led all scorers with 26 points in an efficient 10 of 14 shooting night while hitting six three pointers. Painter pulled Edwards with nine minutes left as the game was well in hand. Thompson had 17 points, 15 of those were scored in the first half on a 5 of 6 shooting night...and stayed mistake-free in the turnover column...while stealing the ball a couple of times.
Purdue broke TSU's 2-3 zone wide open by hitting open threes early...ball movement was excellent, as it has been for much of the season. One of the guys making that extra pass and finding the open man in the corner was Dakota Mathias...he finished with 10 assists along with 7 points and a pair of steals. Most of the starters played around 20 minutes...Eastern and Haarms picked up the slack by playing significant minutes.
Haarms played great again; swatting 3 shots, scoring a career high 14 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Eastern played 18 minutes...didn't shoot a lot, but knocked down a three pointer. What I liked best about Nojel's effort was the way he attacked the glass (4 boards), and seemed to play with more patience.
If you've seen a blowout by this Boiler squad, you've seen this one. Purdue played great on both ends of the court. But as they did versus Butler, Purdue's defense was smothering and set a dominant tone early. They held the Tigers to just 16 points in the first half, which helped the Good Guys stretch the lead out to as much as 34 early in the game. Purdue pulled their collective foot off of the gas a bit early in the second half though. TSU hit four early threes in the second half and shrunk the lead down to a paltry 22 points. Purdue flexed back out to around a 30 point lead a few moments later, as Boogie got back on track..but still.
One aspect of this game that wasn't present, was dominant offensive play from Purdue's starting bigs. Vince only had 8 points and just 2 boards. But he had 3 blocked shots on the other end. Haas was even more quiet, but the packed in zone that created opportunity for the guards made entry passes pretty tough.
Purdue was +11 on the glass, +4 in steals, +6 in blocks and +17 in assists. #16 Boilers looked like a top 10-15 team and left no doubt tonight as they wore the pale gold jerseys in front of their last Paint Crew game for around a month. Next up, they'll end the non-conference schedule against Lipscomb who just beat TSU by nine points, and lost to another common opponent from Tennessee by 10 points.
By the next time we get to watch Matty's boys, the Football Boilers might be reigning Foster Farms Bowl champs; That's what I'm asking Santa for, anyway.
If I don't see you before the 30th of December, Merry Christmas to you and yours.