The Purdue Boilermakers dominated the Jacksonville Dolphins just ahead of their Christmas break and following two high profile games away from Mackey Arena, 100-57. In a game that appeared to be heading into a blowout early on the in the game with Purdue taking a 29-15 points lead in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Dolphins were able to pull back within 8 points as the Boilers went nearly 4 minutes without scoring a field goal. The Boilers finished on an 11-3 run in the final 4:46 of the half to take a 45-27 lead into the second half.
Purdue looked like a team that was coming off two straight games that required an immense amount of effort away from Mackey Arena in the first half as the Boilers struggled, at times, to match the intensity of the Dolphins. Even a typically raucous Mackey Arena, lacking the energy of the students, seemed a bit flat. The Boilers were incredibly efficient in the first half but missed opportunities to take that 14 point lead and really push it into the realm of a blowout early on as JU’s effort and intensity on defense gave the Boiler second line trouble.
To start the second half, Purdue looked a bit more focused and intent on enforcing more of their will as they went on a 24-7 run. That run was highlighted by a huge alley oop dunk from Braden Smith to Cam Heide where the redshirt freshman flew in off the left baseline and threw it down. At that point, the Boilers had pushed their lead to a commanding 69-34 and the starters were pulled out slowly and it was a chance to bench players to get extended minutes.
Your @HammerAndRails 'Play of the Game' against Jacksonville:— Jed Wilkinson (@PurdueWilkie) December 22, 2023
With @BoilerBall on a major run, @3bradensmith finds a leaping @CamdenHeide off the left baseline for the alley-oop. pic.twitter.com/ffgwZSTn2b
That second line for the Boilers looked much more comfortable in the second half versus the first as Matt Painter kept Zach Edey in to help the offense not get bogged down. Unfortunately, that is where JU went on a 9-0 run but finished the game on a 31-14 run to finish up 100-57.
Purdue was led by Zach Edey’s 18 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in just 24 minutes of action while three other Boilers hit double figures in Myles Colvin, Lance Jones, and Trey Kaufman-Renn. Purdue also generated 25 assists on 35 made field goals while minimizing their turnovers to just 9. That limited Jacksonville to just 4 fast break points and minimized their chances at points off turnovers to just 12.
Purdue has now scored 87 or more points in six straights games with two of those games against Arizona and Alabama, two very high quality defensive teams. That marks the longest streak of scoring 80+ or more since the 2021-2022 season where Purdue scored 80 or more for the first seven games of the season. Purdue also had 6 straight games in the 2017-2018 season of scoring 80 or more points. Purdue can run that streak to 7 games of 80+ points to tie that 2021-2022 team against Eastern Kentucky on December 29th at home to round out the conference season.
Purdue will likely enter 2024 as the #1 team in the country as Eastern Kentucky will enter ranked in the mid-200’s of Kenpom and 320th in the NET.