Before this season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no such thing as a “quiet” Mackey Arena. With so much change in the world, one thing has stayed the same… Purdue dominating their opponent on Keady Court.
Purdue bounced back after a hard-fought loss to Clemson with a lopsided win in their home opener against Oakland by a score of 93-50.
Purdue was on fire offensively as they shot 55% from the field and an insane 53% (17-32) from three-point land. It’s going to be hard for anybody to stop the Boilermakers when they shoot that well. Purdue continues to fill it up inside Mackey Arena, it’s a tradition.
The game began with a flurry by the Boilermakers that had them leading 11-4 before Oakland had a run themselves as they took advantage of some Purdue turnovers. It was a close game until the 10:20 mark when Oakland took a 17-16 lead, but that would be the last time the Golden Grizzlies had the upper hand as Purdue took over from that point forward.
Led by Sasha Stefanovic and Brandon Newman, Purdue went on a 33-10 run to close out the first half and never looked back, taking a 49-27 lead into the break.
A slower-paced second half still had the Boilermakers having their way with the 0-5 Oakland squad. The Golden Grizzlies were held to just 33% shooting and made just 3 three-point field goal attempts. Purdue also stifled Oakland’s leading scorer and best player, Jalen Moore who scored 14 points on 3-9 shooting from the field.
The aforementioned duo of Stefanovic and Newman led the way to the blowout win as they combined for 41 points and shot a combined 10-16 from three-point range. Stefanovic also showed his passing and court vision abilities with 7 assists. With Eric Hunter and Jaden Ivey out, Brandon Newman is starting to show he is the man for Coach Matt Painter’s squad.
Trevion Williams showed his form of last year after struggling a bit in Purdue’s first two contests with a line of 8 points and 14 rebounds. This team has shown they can rely on other scorers if Williams is not on his game, but having him perform well is key for the Boilermakers.
There is no glaring issue from Purdue in this game as every player on the court played well in their own role. Isaiah Thompson scored 6 points and dished out 6 assists, Aaron Wheeler posted a line of 9 points and 6 rebounds and Ethan Morton had 6 assists in his own right. This was such a complete game in all aspects
After the loss to Clemson down in Florida, Purdue fans had some questions about this team. Obviously, Oakland is not Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana, etc, but this Matt Painter team has the ability to do great things. Tonight’s ball game showed that. Mind you, Purdue had a masterful performance without two of their best scorers in Eric Hunter and Jaden Ivey.
We know this year’s squad isn’t a Top 5 team in the nation to this point, and with so many freshmen contributors there will be growing pains… but there is plenty to be excited about.
The 2-1 Boilermakers will be back in action this Friday against Valparaiso in Mackey Arena with a scheduled tip-off time of 7:00 pm on Big Ten Network.