The Boilers started out slow in their first game of the season leading just 10-8 at the 12:00 mark of the first half but ended the half on a 29-12 run to lead 39-20 at the break. Purdue continued the run from the first half into the second half with a 23-7 run to extend their lead to 62-27 and never let the Panthers any closer. The victory was the 10th straight opening day victory for the Boilers and Coach Painter’s 385th overall victory at Purdue.
Player of the Game | Fletcher Loyer
Loyer was a prized recruit for his shooting (the 2022 High School National Three Point Champ) but he flashed a completeness to his game tonight in his first collegiate game. Loyer scored a team high 17 points while grabbing 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 0 turnovers in 24 minutes of action. He showed a fearlessness in his first game out shooting 5-12 from behind the arc (42%) with a many of his misses being halfway down. He also was used as a primary ball handler late in the game where he looked comfortable doing so. He doesn’t show any sort of tepidness being a true freshman playing B1G basketball.
Moment of the Game:
At the 7:55 mark of the first half, Braden Smith elevated to deny an entry pass and the deflection went to Mason Gillis, Gillis quickly drove the length of the court and passed to Smith as he cut through the right wing. Smith caught the pass, took one step, and lofted a perfect alley-oop to a streaking Zach Edey for an absolutely monstrous dunk. The played extended Purdue’s lead to 24-12 and the Boilers had every piece of momentum after that.
Purdue struggled out of the gate tonight taking over seven minutes to crack into double digits. There were errant passes, missed open jumpers behind the arc, and worst of all Zach Edey missed his first four shots. It wasn’t until the alley-oop from Braden Smith at the 7:45 mark that Edey had his first bucket from the field. Purdue can’t afford the slow starts against high quality teams unless their defensive effort can be elevated to allow time for the offense to catch up. It appears this team has the WANT TO to be able to make that happen.
Get Healthy Jenkins:
David Jenkins Jr. was unable to play tonight after being on the wrong end of a Mason Gillis elbow/shoulder in practice on Saturday. That thing looks brutal when they showed it on television and hopefully he can recover quickly enough to play on Friday. This would mark the second year in a row that Mason Gillis has given a teammate a black eye right before a game (Isaiah Thompson sported a MG black eye for a few weeks last season). Jenkins is going to be a valuable piece to Purdue as the backup point guard and a guy who can quickly get you points when the offense appears to be bogged down.
Purdue Boilermaker Stat Line:
Next For Purdue:
Purdue will host Austin Peay on Friday, November 11th at 7:00pm on BTN.