The Purdue men's basketball team cruised to an easy 72-39 victory over visiting Lamar (1-7) Tuesday night.
The Cardinals, coached by Pat Knight, were outmatched in all areas of the game and struggled to slow Purdue's offense, allowing 38 points in the paint and 18 second-chance points.
"We didn't want them to get hot from 3-point range," Knight said. "We wanted to take (senior guard D.J. Byrd) out of it but I was also worried about their ‘bigs’ and the way they have been playing lately. You can’t stop both, you have to pick and choose."
The Boilermakers were 4-11 from 3-point range and didn't force any long-range shots, instead feeding the ball inside to post players.
"We talked about it in practice, that we needed to get the ball inside," junior guard Terone Johnson said. "Whether it be throwing it inside or us driving, every time we get two feet in the paint we seem to score a lot more."
“I think we were more selective tonight and more patient,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “It’s hard for guys to pass up shots they feel they can make but the percentages say they’re not. You have to do what’s best for Purdue, and I think we did a better job tonight at getting better shots.”
Leading 36-17 at halftime, Painter was able to play his less experienced players plenty of minutes in the second half. Fourteen different players appeared for the Boilermakers, including senior guard Dru Anthrop, who played 23 minutes.
“Dru simply plays harder than the other guys,” Painter said. “He carries out his assignment and he’s just solid. You need that in a team sport.”
Anthrop recorded four steals, three assists, and three points in the game. Painter praised Anthrop's effort, saying his team needs to continue to play harder and should look to Anthrop as an example.
“I’m proud of Dru,” Painter said. “There are a lot of guys out there who pout when they don’t get opportunities – and when they do get one, they aren’t ready. He’s not that way, he was raised the right way and he understands the big picture. It’s fun watching and coaching guys who play hard, and we haven’t had enough of that.”
Purdue held Lamar to 30.4 percent shooting, 17-56 from the field. The Boilermakers out-rebounded Lamar 50-31 and attempted 21 free-throws compared to seven by Lamar.
Johnson led all scorers with 16 points. AJ Hammons and Anthony Johnson scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Boilermakers.
Knight, son of former Indiana coach Bob Knight, said it was “great and awesome” to be back in Mackey and to see his friend Matt Painter.
“This is a special place,” Knight said. “People don’t understand the rivalry is mostly between the fans. The players – we were really close, we grew up and played together. During the games in college, we would kind of be laughing at how into it the fans were, but we liked each other.”
Knight added that he was also close friends with former Purdue head coach Gene Keady and fans sometimes don’t understand the relationship between Indiana and Purdue players.
“I loved Coach Keady,” Knight said. “People didn’t know that but I was really close to Gene’s wife, Pat. I used to call her ‘Mom’ and she used to wear my button to the Indiana games. People don’t realize how close the Purdue and Indiana guys are and then my relationship with the Keadys themselves.”
Painter added that it was nice to see his friend and he was glad Knight could come back home to play in the state of Indiana, but he said he doesn’t enjoy coaching against his friends.
“He’s a friend of mine and has been for a long time,” Painter said. “I’d prefer not to play against friends, though. It wasn’t fun for me to play against Bruce Weber and Illinois. A lot of people don’t realize that unless you go through it. But Pat wanted to schedule this game to come back home and for recruiting purposes.”
Mitchell 1-6 0-0 2, Wilson 3-10 0-0 6, Brown 6-8 2-4 14, Minton 1-4 0-0 2, Minor 1-13 0-2 2, Blanks 3-9 0-0 7, Acosta 0-0 0-0 0, Hancock 1-3 0-0 3, Webb 1-3 1-1 3, Norman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-56 3-7 39.
Hammons 6-10 1-3 13, Byrd 1-1 0-0 2, Lawson 0-2 2-2 2, T. Johnson 6-12 2-5 16, A. Johnson 4-10 2-3 11, R. Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, Toyra 0-1 0-0 0, Anthrop 1-2 0-0 3, Hale 0-2 1-2 1, Simpson 3-4 0-0 6, Beshears 0-2 0-0 0, Davis 3-8 1-2 7, Carroll 1-1 0-0 2, Marcius 2-4 3-4 7. Totals 28-62 12-21 72.
Halftime: Purdue 36-17. 3-Point Goals: Lamar 2-9 (Hancock 1-3, Blanks 1-4, Minor 0-2), Purdue 4-11 (T. Johnson 2-4, Anthrop 1-2, A. Johnson 1-2, Beshears 0-1, R. Johnson 0-1, Toyra 0-1). Fouled Out: None. Rebounds: Lamar 31 (Brown 9), Purdue 50 (T. Johnson 7). Assists: Lamar 12 (Minton 4), Purdue 13 (Anthrop 3). Total Fouls: Lamar 15, Purdue 15. A: 12,721.