Purdue wrapped up the 2021 and non-conference portion of their schedule this evening, routing Nicholls State by a score of 104-90.
As the Boilermakers secured the win, they also clinched the fourth undefeated non-conference slate in program history. That is a great accomplishment for this team considering they played and beat the likes of Villanova, North Carolina, Florida State, North Carolina State, and Butler.
Tonight was just too easy for the Boilermakers, as Nicholls State had some moments, were no match for the No. 3 team in the country. When you shoot 58% from the field and only turn it over 8 times, you will not lose many games. Maybe the most impressive stat from the night was Purdue having 30 assists on 35 made baskets, which is an insane ratio. In addition to that, all 5 starters scored in double-figures this evening as well.
This is expected out of this Purdue team though, absolutely dominate these low major schools during non-conference play and set yourself up for a Big Ten Championship run.
The 90 points that Nicholls State is a little misleading, but it was clear that Purdue needs to buckle down defensively as they did against Butler a couple of weeks ago. The Boilermakers allowed Nicholls to shoot 16/35 from the three-point line and gave up a season-high in points tonight (the previous high was 84 against North Carolina.)
Most of the work was done by Ty Gordon and Ryghe Lyons for Nicholls. Gordon dropped 29 on the Boilermakers including 9-15 shooting from distance, while Lyons scored 20 and gave Purdue fits on the defensive end of the floor. Lyons was also 3-3 from three-point range after going 0-9 to this point, so you can do with that information what you wish. The point remains, if Purdue cannot lockdown when they need to, it will come back to bite them as we have already seen this season (Rutgers).
As per usual, the two-headed frontcourt monster of Trevion Williams and Zach Edey led the way for the Boilermakers. Off the bench, Edey posted a line of 21 points on a phenomenal 7-8 shooting from the field and 7-9 from the free-throw line tonight. Williams remained the starter and was close to a triple-double again, putting up 9 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists in just 22 minutes of play.
We say it time and time again, but boy is Matt Painter lucky to have two All-American caliber big men to lean on every night. The key for this season has and will continue to be the guard and wing play for the Boilermakers, which was stellar tonight.
Jaden Ivey did some more Jaden Ivey things tonight and scored a quiet 19 points on 5-9 shooting including three makes from three-point range. The other guards for the Boilermakers, Sasha Stefanovic and Isaiah Thompson combined for 29 points and hit seven threes between the two of them.
A performance that might go overlooked is Ethan Morton, who had a career-high in both points with 7 and assists with 7 as well. Morton is slowly turning into that glue guy for the Boilermakers who isn’t going to fill up the stat sheet, but does a little bit of everything and can step up in big-time moments. It is similar to what Mason Gillis brings to the table, but Morton can play 1-4.
Purdue now moves to 12-1 on the season and completes a perfect non-conference portion of their schedule for the first time since 1993-94. That is all fine and dandy, but this is when the real season begins for the Boilermakers. Purdue will open this portion of Big Ten play against No. 24 Wisconsin, in what will be an electric environment. The game will be at home on Monday, January 3rd at 7:00 p.m. from inside Mackey Arena and will be televised on BTN.