The Purdue Boilermakers showed up in Miami ready to play. They dominated the Hurricanes at every level in the first half, their two big men combined to outscore the entire Miami squad in the first half, and after an 18 point first half led to a 20 point second half lead, the Boilers tripped, fell, missed jumpers, and fouled their way to a stunning 58-54 loss against a team that was 1 of 17 from three and 17 for 29 on the free throw line.
Purdue started strong with redshirt freshman guard Brandon Newman showed off his all-around game. He took a curl and cut to the hoop, finishing with a soft right hand over Nysier Brooks. He then came down and hit a catch and shoot three-point in transition. To finish the flurry, he caught, pumped, and drove into the middle of the lane where he finished a floater.
This was part of a Boilermaker run to start the game that had them up 15-2 early. They went on to miss their next 9 shots, more indicative of Purdue’s performance the rest of the game.
Despite dominating and leading for almost the entirety of the game, Coach Painter’s Boilers could not find the basket from deep. The finished the night shooting 4-25 from three.
Purdue’s size was a problem for Miami early. Then it became a problem for the officials. Both big men, Trevion Williams and Zach Edey, fouled out of the game. Edey was called for 3 fouls in the first half, most of them based on him just being bigger than his opposition. He finished the game as Purdue’s most effective weapon, making all 5 of his shots, scoring 15 points, and accounting for 6 of Purdue’s 10 free throws.
Williams took 10 shots, making just 4 of them, continuing his struggle from the floor this season. Despite consistently attacking in the post, the big man took zero free throw attempts.
The Hurricanes attempted 29 free throws.
Kameron McGusty led the way for the Hurricanes scoring 18 points. Isaih Wong was the only other Hurricane in double figures. They combined to shoot more than double the free throws as Purdue’s entire team.
The game started as a celebration of youth, and the return of their most experienced guard, Eric Hunter Jr. Hunter Jr. suffered a knee injury in the off season and this was his first action of the season. He made his presence known early, taking a steal and scoring on a pretty euro-step lay-up. He followed that with a nifty floater off the glass and a confident pull-up three at the top of the key. He wouldn’t connect on another three the rest of the way, but did lead the team in assists.
Sasha Stefanovic carries over a jump shot that doesn’t seem to want to fall on the road. The sharp shooter came into the game in flames and left doused, making just 1 of 5 attempts from the floor.
Coach Painter after the game, frustrated, summarized the experience thusly: “We need some discipline and some mental toughness from guys that have been on our team before. And we got zero.”
Purdue will search to find some of that as Big Ten plays near. They will get a momentary reprieve by hosting Indiana State on Saturday, but Ohio St. waits a week away from tomorrow and a murderer’s row of B10 competition.