Boilers Out-Tough Panthers
With RayDay out with a sprained MCL for the second-straight game, Purdue played in the B1G/ACC Challenge. Our very own Neeshy was there to witness Pitt's 5th loss in nearly 150 games at home at the cold, gritty hands of our Boilers. He'll have more insight on what he witnessed in a bit...until then, here's what you need to know: Foul trouble plagued Purdue tonight- it forced Haas and Edwards to the bench a bit more than they should have been. One quick note that I never really understand with Painter is why he's so terrified to allow one of his players to foul out...but it's a pretty consistent theme from Coach Paint.
With Haas' minutes limited, the nation's best back-up center* absolutely took control of the game with an array of moves- spins around defenders in the post, hard-fought put-backs over double-teams and even a pair of three pointers (one to seal the victory) led to 24 points and 12 rebounds. As I talked about yesterday, Hammons seems to thrive in primetime...last night was no exception.
After AJ, Cline was a catalyst to creating a bit of breathing room versus Pitt. He went 4 for 6 from three and ended the night as the second-leading scorer for Purdue with 12 points.
Purdue jumped way out early, 18-3 with hot shooting over Pitt's zone, but as the officiating allowed the game to get sloppy, Purdue offense became a combination of bad three point shots and lousy entry passes to double teamed bigs for the Forces of Good.
After fighting back from the large deficit, Pitt took the lead a few minutes into the second half...quickly, Cline put Purdue back on top and Purdue slowly pushed the game out with simply tough and heady play. Our Boilers hit over 72% of their FTs, out rebounded Pitt by 5 and simply ground Pitt down with opportunistic play. Final score: 72-59.
The 7-0 Boilers welcome a solid 5-1 University of New Mexico squad to Mackey on Saturday at 2:15.
*credit our pal Adam Galema with that line