As turkey settled in stomachs and stores start to recover from Black Friday, Coach Painter and his Boilermakers were in Mackey Arena playing host to Robert Morris.
The Boilermakers are coming off a loss in the Charleston Classic Championship game against Virginia Tech and have back to back tough road games against ranked #14 Florida St. and #9 Michigan.
With such tough games in the rear-view and looking forward, it’s a good thing they had could get Coach Matt Painter his 300th win at Purdue against Robert Morris, jumping out to an early lead behind a strong first half by Carsen Edwards and Ryan Cline and a defense that forced Robert Morris into a lot of misses and turnovers.
The Boilers did struggle on the offensive end as a team, particularly at the start of the second half. After leading 44-23 after half, they started the second half making just 3 of their first 12 shots.
Coach Painter’s offense continued to run through his star, Carsen Edwards, but Edwards struggled to get anything going, forcing long jumpers and finding multiple defenders anytime he went to the basket. He scored 19 points but it took him 17 shots, only making 5 of them, doing most of his damage from the free throw line and three-point line.
It was senior Ryan Cline who provided both the spark and calming hand in the second half, knocking down a couple threes that got Purdue’s offense back in rhythm. He had an efficient day all game, knocking down 6 of his 10 shots from the floor, 5 of 7 from three, for 17 points.
True freshman Eric Hunter Jr. had a nice showing in the first half, making two threes in the first half, doubling his season total coming into the game. He finished the game with 8 points.
Hunter wasn’t the only freshman to get it going from deep. Sasha Stefanovic built off a strong championship game performance in Charleston where he hit a big late three-pointer. Today, he scored a career-high 8 points, making 2 of his 4 three-pointers.
Trevion Williams had a career night as well, coming in late in the second half and going to work against a Robert Morris team getting beat by forty at that point. The true freshman scored 9 points on 4 of 4 shooting.
Coach Painter will hope Purdue’s defense will carry over the next few weeks as Purdue prepares for an absolute murderer’s row over the next five games. Purdue will have to travel to #14 Florida St. on Wednesday November 28th and at #9 Michigan on December 1st before playing host to Maryland for one game before hitting the road again to take on Texas in Austin. They’ll finish the five-game stretch in Indianapolis, taking on in-state rival Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.