Lucky number 7! Matt Painter and the Purdue Boilermakers snapped their 3 game Big Ten/ACC Challenge losing streak with an impressive 93-65 win over Florida State.
Purdue will now head into the month of December undefeated for the first time since the 2015-16 season when they started that season 11-0.
This was a very interesting game, as Purdue fought through a little adversity and then just dominated Florida State for the rest of the game. One thing from the jump that bothered Purdue was the pressure the Seminoles put on them.
They had not dealt with pressure like tonight. Yes, at the end of games teams are going to press and go a little extra hard on defense, but Florida State was relentless with it. There were several times when the Boilermakers couldn’t get much going through their motion offense and either forced up a bad shot or turned it over.
Purdue was simply more skilled and easily overcame the hard play and defensive intensity. When is the last time you heard that? This team is something special when they can put on such an effortless performance to beat a team in Florida State who is normally has a very good quad.
Other than the defensive pressure, the Seminoles didn’t offer up anything else of concern for the Boilermakers tonight. Purdue played very well on defense in their own right, obviously holding their opponent to 65 points and two straights 80+ point outings.
Offensively, it was a very even scoring distribution with 7 players scoring 8 or more points and the high man on the night scoring 18 points. They shot an eye-popping 59.3% from the field total and 48% (12-25) from three-point range. Tonight was also the 6th time in 7 games that they scored 92 points or more... and the other was an 80-74 win over the #5 team in the country... is that good?
Ivey lead the way and was super efficient tonight, shooting 7-11 from the field including 4-6 from three-point range. He also added in two assists and two blocks on the night. If he can consistently knock down his three-pointers, he could very well average upwards of 25 points per game, that’s scary.
Matt Painter’s “Region Rat” shooter duo also had stellar nights themselves. It was a tale of two halves though, with Brandon Newman scoring 8 of his 13 total points in the first half as Sasha Stefanovic sat after two fouls.
Stefanovic came out in the second half and caught fire to finally put the Boilermakers ahead for good. The fifth-year senior scored 11 second-half points on 3-6 shooting from deep. He also had a game-high 8 assists tonight, which has been a welcomed surprise addition to his game. It is similar to Ryan Cline’s improvement from his junior to senior seasons.
Another sharpshooter that has emerged this season is Isaiah Thompson who scored 12 points on 4-4 shooting from the field. The junior is now shooting 60% (14-23) from three-point range through seven games. To have any one of Thompson, Stefanovic, and Newman as a lights-out shooter on the floor is special for Matt Painter.
When both of those guys are on, the offense can flow that much more smoothly and takes a lot of pressure off of Jaden Ivey and the big man duo of Edey and Williams.
Those two had a fairly modest night in terms of their output in the box score but still controlled the game due to their mere presence on the floor. Edey and Williams combined for 20 points, 8 rebounds, and three assists.
Everyone else played within themselves and were able to play their roles. Mason Gillis, Eric Hunter Jr, and Ethan Morton all provided much-needed energy off the bench and played very well on the defensive side of the ball. This is what Painter and the staff will ask out of those guys, and more often than not they will deliver.
Another game, another dominant win for the Boilermakers this year. This team is proving themselves and showing people all of the different ways they can win on a game-by-game basis. It is a special group with no glaring weaknesses, but they cannot get overconfident and forget what got them to this point already. Keep winning, and the Boilermakers will be the No. 1 team in the country before you know it.
Next time out, Purdue will host the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday night to open up the first phase of Big Ten play. Iowa is 7-0 themselves and is coming off a thrilling win over Virginia on Monday. The Boilermakers will be tasked with slowing down a budding superstar in Kegan Murray who is averaging 24.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Friday’s game will tip-off at 9:00 p.m. EST on BTN.