Purdue topped Austin Peay 63-44 tonight despite a brutal offensive (offensive can work two ways in this sentene) performance. Zach Edey led all scorers with 30 points. No other Boilermaker came close to cracking double digits. The 3 point shooting was dreadful. The Boilermakers chucked 19 attempts in the general vicinity of the basket and finally got 2 to fall in the final 5 minutes (shout out to David Jenkins and Braden Smith). Foster Loyer led the team in futility going 0-5 from deep after his red hot shooting in the first game. Brandon Newman also came up empty, missing all 3 of his attempts during the course of play (he did hit one after the buzzer, proving that it is possible).
I’m done talking about the negative. Zach Edey looked like an All-American tonight. While the rest of the squad was misfiring worse than a ‘71 Pinto, Edey was locked in all night, He had 30 points on 12/13 shooting, hitting 6/10 free throws, and pulling down 11 boards along the way. He did all this while (from the looks of his arms) being guarded by a team equipped with immersion blenders on their hands and getting whistled for several questionable offensive fouls.
Despite their troubles on offense, the defense stayed locked-in all night. This was one of those games where a team like Austin Peay hangs around, hits a couple shots, gets some confidence and pulls an upset over a frigid Purdue. Instead, the defense smothered the Governors, holding them to 4-24 from behind the arc, and 15-53 for the game. More ball pressure, leading to easy points would have been nice, but I’ll take what I can get after watching Purdue struggle to guard the halftime entertainment last season.
The young Boilermakers are going to be hot and cold on offense this season, but if their defense holds, they’ll win a few cold shooting games as long a Edey dominates the paint. Time to get back in the gym, put up some shots, and come out ready to deal with Shaka Smart and Marquette on Tuesday.
Let’s hope for better shooting and a more entertaining game. I dozed off twice trying to watch this one.