In Purdue's last outing Chicago State went to the zone defense and the Boilers were unable to knockdown shots in the first half against the worst team in the country according to Ken Pom ratings.
After a nine-point outburst from sophomore Trevion Williams, Jacksonville State decided it would employ the same strategy and the Boilers shot the lights out and went on to win, 81-49.
“I was just feeling good,” Williams said. “ One thing (assistant) coach (Brandon) Brantley always tells me is try to get yourself going early.”
When the Gamecocks decided to move to a zone Purdue already held a 15-point lead thanks to ball movement and post-play.
“From an offensive stand point just trying to establish an inside presence is something we harped on,” coach Matt Painter said. "We go too long periods where we don’t throw the ball inside whether those guys are diving or posting up its got to be a big part of our offense. It gives us a balance.”
The Boilers then began to show-off their 3-point shooting and ended the half on a 20-10 run. This gave Purdue a 25-point lead heading into halftime that pretty much sealed the deal for the Boilermakers. Senior guard Jahaad Proctor, who scored 14 points, started the second half with a solo 8-point run to put the icing on the cake.
“We have had some good stretches but we haven’t been consistent and had good 40 minute games,” head coach Matt Painter said. “We played well in the second half for probably the first time all year.”
From there on out all Purdue had to do was maintain.
Purdue was able to capture the victory in large part due to its defense. It held Jacksonville State to an abysmal 27 percent from the field and kept their free-throw attempts to a minimum.
One area of concern for the Boilers however is the amount of rebounds they allowed. The two teams teams were neck-and-neck in the rebounding battle with Purdue just narrowly winning the battle, 36-34.
The Boilers did a great job of keeping the Gamecocks out of the paint holding them to just 14 points down low and forcing them to shoot outside shots. Which wasn't their strong suit today as they shot just 24 percent from the 3-point line.
Matt Haarms was Purdue's leading scorer thanks to an excellent second half performance where he scored 15 of his 17 points and grabbed 7 of his 25 rebounds.
Purdue also did very well moving the ball assisting on 23 of its 31 baskets. Freshman guard Isaiah Thompson, sophomore Eric Hunter Jr and Proctor each had 5 assists which was the team high.
“We’ve put a lot of time into it, not just this week,” Painter said. “We’re always working on decision-making and being able to handle different types of defenses.”
Purdue returns to action at 9:30 p.m., Friday, vs. VCU from Desin, Florida in the Emerald Classic.
- Purdue improved to 3-2 with a 93-49 win over Chicago State in front of a sold-out crowd of 14,804 at Mackey Arena … the sellout was the 11th straight sellout dating back to last year.
- Purdue's 44-point victory was its largest since a 49-point victory (97-48) win over Tennessee State on Dec. 21, 2017 … Purdue has won 24 games by 30 or more points since the 2015-16 season, the second-highest total in America (Gonzaga – 44).
- Purdue's 36 3-point attempts tied a school record, also set vs. Vermont on Nov. 15, 2015 … Purdue is 30-5 since the start of the 2017-18 season when making 10 or more 3-pointers in a game … the Boilermakers made 11 triples in the win over Chicago State.
- Purdue improved to 22-1 since the start of last year when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponent.
- Purdue has won 99 straight games when scoring at least 90 points.
- Purdue's +26 (48-22) rebound margin was its 15th-best margin in a game in school history ... it was the highest margin since a 29-rebound advantage vs. Chicago State on Nov. 12, 2017.
- With one block today, Matt Haarms moved into a tie for fifth place on Purdue's career blocks list with John Allison with 165 career blocks.
- Aaron Wheeler recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
- Isaiah Thompson tallied a team-high 17 points, with five 3-pointers … his five 3-pointers tied the most in school history by a freshman.
– Purdue Athletics contributed to this report.