That's more like it.
The Purdue basketball team bounced back from its slim win over Northern Kentucky Friday by scoring its highest point total in the Matt Painter era tonight against a clearly overmatched Central Connecticut State team in Mackey Arena, 109-73. The Boilers 109 points surpasses the 103 they scored in a win over Alcorn State Nov. 11, 2010.
The best part about it was how Purdue passed the 103 mark: A Travis Carroll (TACOS) 3-pointer. Travis said on Twitter he would buy all his followers a taco if Purdue surpassed the century mark with a Carroll dunk. I think a Tacos' 3 to pass the mark for most points scored by a Painter Purdue team should net us all a 3 pack of Tacos. What do ya say, Travis?
The game marked the return to action of A.J. Hammons, and did he ever make his impact known. The sophomore center started the game with a block, then recorded six more for a career high of seven southern chickens (That's what my favorite color commentator ever, Tommy, from the Purdue Student announcer team, called blocks tonight. Doesn't make sense, but I love it.). He added 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and five rebounds with just one foul. He's impact is hard to quantify statistically though. Having a 7-footer with a longer reach in the lane against a team who had only one player as tall as Purdue's coach simply affects the game. The easy layups and second-chance points Northern Kentucky saw Friday simply didn't exist for the most part tonight for CCSU.
Hammons and Jay Simpson's impact in the paint was reflected in CCSU's field goal percentage; the Blue Devils went for under 35 percent for the game and struggled through multiple long field goal droughts. Purdue, meanwhile, hit nearly 55 percent of its shots despite a barrage of 3-point attempts from the walk-ons the last five minutes of the game. Purdue had 64 points in the paint, compared to just 32 for the Blue Devils.
That doesn't mean it was all good in the paint for the Boilers, however. Hammons did have just one foul and five rebounds (I realize saying just five rebounds may sound greedy) and the Boilers outrebounded 52-41 against a team who had just one player as tall as Purdue's coach, and no one close to the height of any of Purdue's centers. Obviously the Boilers have a leap to make in terms of aggressiveness. Raphael Davis's seven rebounds led the team, which stirs up conflicting emotions in me. On one hand, its great to see a wing get that involved in the rebounding game. On the other hand, how the hell do Jay Simpson and Hammons combine for just 10 rebounds? Purdue's POINT GUARD had the same total as its centers. That can't happen.
Another problem from last year reared its head for the Boilermakers in free throw shooting, where Purdue hit just 14-of-24 from the charity stripe. With the emphasis on hand check fouls this year, its going to be important for Purdue to be able to hit free throws when given the opportunity.
Speaking of fouls, Purdue had 16 and CCSU had 19, which kind of goes against the whole "the game is ruined" viewpoint we've seen from many this year.
Purdue's next game is Sunday against Rider.