What. A. Game. THE BOILERS ARE BACK! Purdue absolutely dominated Iowa (who has had a terrible week so far) by catching fire in route to a 104-68 win against the Hawkeyes, which is the most points scored against a ranked team by Purdue since 1976.
After leaving New Jersey with a loss and falling to 11-10 on the season and then barely squeaking past Northwestern, who is the worst team… by far, the season looked grim. Then the Boilermakers responded in a huge way by smacking the 17th ranked team in the country by 36. This was a much needed win over the Hawkeyes who previously were just one game out of first place in the conference.
Purdue fans have not seen this team play this hard, shoot this well, and shut the other team out this bad for an entire game and that is just what Eric Hunter and company did tonight. The Hawkeyes are a very good team, but when the Boilers play like that? In Mackey? Sorry but nobody will touch this team.
Every single player with a white jersey who stepped on Keady Court tonight played extremely well. Sasha Stefanovic started the scoring on a three point 47 seconds into the game and Purdue never trailed following that make. The team scored a season high 61 points in the first half coming into the game the Boilers had been averaging 62.6 points per GAME in Big Ten play.
This was the Boilermakers best offensive performance by leaps and bounds this season scoring their season high 104. They shot a blistering 62.5% from the floor and 54.5% from beyond the arc on 19-34 shooting which is the second most three pointers made in a game second to the 20 that Purdue hit against Iowa in January of 2018.
Boudreaux led the way scoring 18 points on 7-9 shooting including four three pointers and 8 rebounds, on a night where 5 Boilermakers scored more than 13. The other’s who topped that number were Jahaad Proctor with 15 on perfect 6-6 shooting, Eric Hunter Jr. with 13 points to go along with 7 assists, Matt Haarms with 15 and Sasha Stefanovic who hit 5 shots from downtown to finish with 15 as well. After struggling for most of the season and essentially having his confidence drained, Aaron Wheeler turned in one of his best performances of the season with 9 points on 4-5 shooting and grabbed 7 boards.
Nojel Eastern, while quiet on the scoreboard, was instrumental in the win and did the dirty work for the Boilermakers. Jelly finished with two points but had 6 assists, three key offensive rebounds early in the game that helped set the tone and played outstanding defense against an Iowa team that leads the conference in scoring.
The Boilermakers could do no wrong tonight in Mackey in every aspect of the game, they out-rebounded the Hawkeyes by a wide margin (8) and held a staggering 29 to 13 advantage in assists. They also just clearly outworked Iowa by beating them in second chance points, bench points, and points off turnovers and forced 14 turnovers.
It appears that three pointer by Sasha in Evanston last Saturday to seal the win gave the rest of the team the boost it needed to make a run down the stretch and save the season.
With the win Purdue is back to .500 in the conference at 6-6 and moved to 13-10 on the season. The team is now just 2.5 games back from first place, which is hard to believe given all of the struggles the squad has gone through this season. The onslaught of the Hawkeyes sets up a date in Assembly Hall with Indiana on Saturday who is 15-7 on the season and 5-6 during Big Ten play. If the Boilermakers can go and snag a road win in Bloomington and then come back to Mackey and take care of business against Penn State, you could be looking at tournament team that is getting hot at exactly the right time.