Fletcher Loyer: 27 points, 6 3PT makes, 3 assists
Zach Edey: 12 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks
Derrick Walker: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Keisei Tominaga: 16 points, 4 3PT makes, 1 steal
Back on December 10th in Lincoln, a scrappy Nebraska team held Purdue to an awful shooting performance and forced the Boilermakers into overtime. Purdue would end up winning 65-62. In that game, it was Fletcher Loyer to lead all scorers with 22 (a career-high at the time). Fast-forward to tonight and it’s Loyer again who leads all scorers with 27 (his new career-high) and the Boilers booted the Huskers out of Mackey with a blowout loss. Here’s how it happened:
Much like last time, Nebraska was intent on putting bodies on Zach Edey so the Naismith frontrunner couldn’t get the ball in deep. But when you double the big man, it leaves shooters open. Purdue’s first 5 baskets were all from beyond the arc and it was clear early on that Fletcher Loyer was in for a big night, as the freshman made 4 of those 5 3’s. At that point Purdue was up 15-4 and Zach Edey didn’t even have a shot attempt. The Huskers would cut the lead a bit, eventually getting within 5 with two minutes left. Purdue would then end the half on a 6-0 run to take an 11 point lead into halftime. It is also worth noting that Nebraska was without both Sam Griesel and Juwan Gary for this game. The pair account for just over 20 Nebraska points per game, so a big loss for the fightin’ Hoibergs.
Purdue started the second half just like they ended the first: on a scoring run. An 11-0 run over nearly the first four minutes seemed to put this game away. The Purdue lead would not go below 15 for the rest of the game and was really held on by some questionable calls by the referees, including a classic “Zach Edey is big so we call the foul on him” call. Derrick Walker had a nice game with some savvy moves in the post, ending with 19 points, Also, Keisei Tominaga played a pesky role again, scoring 11 of his 16 in the second half and got under the Paint Crew’s skin a little bit with his antics. But Purdue had the last laugh as they came out on top to the wonderful “Whose House” chant by the Paint Crew which was, no doubt, fantastic to hear back in Mackey.
Nebraska has been the team to figure how to lock down Zach Edey by sending the farm at him. Two of Zach’s 3 lowest scoring outputs this season have been against Nebraska, so they seem to have the blueprint. However, it’s clear that when you double Zach, the shooters can burn you, and primarily Loyer burned the Cornhuskers tonight.
Congratulations to Matt Painter for picking up his 400th win as Purdue’s head coach tonight! Coach Painter becomes the fifth Big Ten coach to reach 400 victories and has this year’s squad opening with their best 17 game start since 1993-94 (16-1). Here’s to many more wins, coach Painter!
Purdue introduced it Anthracite jerseys in this game and might I say, they are gorgeous! This is how you do a grey uniform as the grey makes the gold just pop. I truly am a sucker for dark gray / black alternates and these may be my favorite of them all. The next alternate has to be script Purdue, right?
This was the Paint Crew’s first game back since the break and they were in full force tonight. Even up 20, the Paint Crew wasn’t afraid to yell at the refs for some questionable calls. They are the best fans in the land and make Mackey a top-3 venue in the NCAA. I am also informed that they were awarded with the Frisbee Dog halftime show, and I am here for it. Nothing but good vibes tonight. Boiler Up!