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Purdue 97, Tennessee St 48: The Carsen and PJ Show

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Carsen sets a new career-high, PJ can’t miss, and the Boilers roll.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee State at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

‘Tis the season of giving and the Purdue fans an early Christmas gift, beating Tennessee State 97-48.

Purdue wrapped this one up early, going up by 32 at the end of the first half before cruising to a comfortable margin of victory.

On Monday, Tennessee State went into Austin and gave Texas everything they could handle, nearly pulling the upset off, but falling to the Longhorns 47-46.

Purdue would score 48 points in the first half.

Transition baskets, turnovers, 3’s, and And-1’s made perfect stocking stuffers for a Boilermaker team intent on avoiding a similar fate after the long lay-off. An early break away by PJ Thompson who dumped it off to Carsen Edwards who finished at the rim as part of the 12 points he’d score in the first 8 minutes of the game. A few minutes later, it was Carsen bouncing a pass to Thompson who streaked past a defender and finished at the rim, drawing the foul and making his free throw. The senior point guard didn’t miss in the first half. He made all five of his field goal attempts, taking three 3’s and making three free throws. He finished the game with 17 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds.

It appears Carsen Edwards might have found his stroke. After going 3 for 17 in the last 4 games, he connected on 6 of his 8 three-point attempts, setting a new career-high for made three-points. For the season, Carsen was just under 32% shooting from deep. He’s now scored at least 18 points in the last three games. This was Edwards fifth game of the season scoring 20 points or more.

As Thompson and Edwards continue to shoot well from deep, Dakota Mathias continues to struggle. He came into the game struggling from three, making just 6 of his last 21. He continued to struggle, making just 2 of his 8 three-point attempts and both of his shots inside the arc. On a night his shot wasn’t falling, he decided to get others involved. Mathias had a season-high 10 assists to just 1 turnover.

Ryan Cline’s resurgence continues. The junior from Carmel made 3 of his 4 attempts from deep for 9 points.

Vincent Edwards’ streak of double-digit scoring games ends at 13. The senior had season lows in points at 8 and rebounds at 2 while playing just 23 minutes. Isaac Haas also failed to reach double-digits, scoring 7 points on just 5 shot attempts.

The seniors put the game away early, but the future was on full display late. Matt Haarms set a career-high in points, but more exciting was the way he put the points up. He caught an alley-oop from Cline with just over three minutes left in the game and slammed it home. Before that, he iso’d a defender, gave a shimmy then stepped back into a 19-foot jump shot and found nothing but twine. He also had an And-1 on a drive where he took the contact and delivered a delicate floater into the net. He blocked three more shots in what has been an impressive freshman campaign on the defensive end all year. He finished with a career-high 14 points and was a perfect 5 of 5 from the floor.

Purdue’s bench really played well once the P. J. Thomson and Carsen Edwards show ended. They scored 29 points overall and helped extend the lead and kept Purdue’s winning streak alive. The Boilers have now won 8 straight with just one more non-conference game before the conference slate starts in earnest.

Purdue’s next game will be after Christmas when they play host to Lipscomb at Dec. 30th at 8:00 pm.