At halftime, the Boilermakers lead the Fighting Illini 44-30 at half despite the Boilers finishing the half with consecutive turnovers to end the half.
Despite a pension for turning the ball over this year, the Boilers only coughed it up 5 times to Illinois two turnovers. The story of the half has been shooting. Mostly, Illinois inability to find the bottom of the net and Purdue’s inability not to.
Nowhere was this more evident than when Carsen Edwards pulled up for his first shot of the game. His transition three hit hard off the back of the rim before bouncing straight up in the air before falling straight through the net. He’d go on to add another transition three and back to back layups to score ten straight for the Boilermakers. Carsen Edwards finished the half shooting a perfect 5 of 5 from the score, scoring 12 but was responsible for 3 of Purdue’s 5 turnovers. Haas finished the first half with 11, shooting 4 of 5 and making 3 of his 4 free throws.
Caleb Swanigan, B10 player of the year favorite, struggled in the first half, scoring only 4 points on 1 of 6 shooting from the floor.
He was the only player to struggle as the Boilers as a team shot 15 of 25 from the floor, connecting on 5 of their 9 three point attempts. A continued trend - the Boilers made 9 of 10 of their free throws.
The Illinois on the other hand struggled from everywhere making just 36.1% of their shots and just 2 of their 8 deep tries. Morgan Maverick and Malcolm Hill both finished the first half with 8 points.
The Illini also find themselves in some early foul trouble. Both Mike Thorne Jr. and Te’Jon Lucas have 3 personal fouls.
The Illini have gotten 8 of their points off turnovers, further demonstrating the struggle they’ve had to get clean looks in the first half. Dakota Mathias has looked to redeem himself on Illinois big time scorer after giving up 29 to Peter Jok at Iowa.
After a dnp for Basil Smotherman last game, he continues to sit the bench, not making into the game for the third straight half.
The Boilers will look to stay hot from outside while leveraging Haas inside here at Mackey.