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BoilerUpload – Purdue 63, Austin Peay 44

November 12th, 2022

Purdue’s defense holds strong as Purdue defeats Austin Peay 63-44.

Purdue couldn’t pull away until the final minutes of this one, but Purdue’s defense was consistent and dominant from the start against a feisty Austin Peay team that couldn’t match Zach Edey down low.

Purdue held the Governors to just 16 points in the first half, with big man Zach Edey off to a hot start, having arguably his best offensive game of his career after having the best defensive performance of his career against Milwaukee in the season opener. Edey matched Austin Peay’s scoring in the first half with 16 points on a perfect 8-8 shooting from the field. He finished the game with a career-high 30 points.

On a night where Purdue missed every three point attempt in the first half and made just two for the game, their inside presence and team defense showed that Coach Painter’s young team might have a few different avenues for victory this season.

Still, Coach Painter won’t be as happy with his offense turning the ball over 14 times. After the game he said he’d like to have a few of those turnovers back.

Purdue perimeters players struggled and no one besides Edey sniffed double-figures scoring.

“It was good for our young guys,” Matt Painter said after the game about his young guys playing through their defense. “There’s games where the balls don’t go in.”

Edey Nearly Perfect

After going 4 of 13 in the season opener, Zach Edey made his first 9 field goal attempts and went 12-13 for the game. He didn’t take a free throw in the first half, but finished the game shooting 6-10 from the line.

The big man was as dominant as he’s been in his career. He was clearly too much for Austin Peay to handle from the jump. Purdue’s offense looked to him early and often in the first and second half to set a tone. It worked, as Edey accounted for nearly half of Purdue’s points in establishing a new career-high in points and his first 30-point game.

Edey finished with 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double to start the season.

Edey is now averaging 21 points and 14 rebounds per game to start the season.

“When he’s that deep, it’s awfully hard to help ball side,” Coach Painter said about Edey’s dominance. “We all know he’s capable of having games like this.”

Long Time Coming

David Jenkins Jr. three-pointer with 7:44 in the second half was his first points as a Boilermaker after missing the season opener against Milwaukee. It was also the first three-pointer for Purdue in the entire game. The Boilermakers started the game cold and stayed without a made three in the first half. They missed their first 16 three-point attempts.

The Boilers would finish the game shooting 2 of 19 from three. Braden Smith was the only other Boiler to make a three-pointer.

Purdue’s misses were daunting and spread throughout the rotation.

Mason Gillis was 0-2 from three.

Fletcher Loyer was 0-5.

Caleb Furst was 0-2.

Brandon Newman was 0-3.

Ethan Morton was 0-1.

“It was crazy. In practice we’re lights out… that’s not something that’s gonna stick,” David Jenkins Jr. said after the game about his team’s shooting struggles.

Purdue’s Defense Lives Again

Purdue held Austin Peay to 16 points in the first half. While struggling on the offensive end, Purdue’s defense was consistently on a string, forcing tough shots, and rotating ahead of passes. It’s Purdue’s second strong defensive effort to start the season. They held Milwaukee to 38.8% shooting in the season opener and turned in an even better encore performance, holding the Governors to 15-53 shooting for the game.

Austin Peay was 4-24 from three, and 28.3% from the field. Just 5 Governors scored in the game.

“It was a really good win,” Coach Painter said after the game. “I thought we defended well, rebounded well.”

Purdue out rebounded Austin Peay 42-22.

“I think our guys have been on it the last couple games… You can talk all you want but you have to play different people for different styles for issues to pop up,” Coach Painter said talking about his freshman and team’s defensive performance to start the season. “This was a great experience for those guys.”

Playing Like a Freshman

After having a successful debut, Braden Smith looked like a freshman early for Coach Painter. After 3 turnovers against Milwaukee, Smith had 4 turnovers this game. He started the game looking to create offense, but an early miscommunication with Zach Edey led to an easy turnover on a lob in the middle of the paint. Later, he tried forcing a pass into Caleb Furst without an angle and sailed it into the first row. His third turnover of the half was a no reward throw towards the top of the key that Austin Peay intercepted and got a break away lay up out of.

Fletcher Loyer never got it going, starting off cold for the second straight game, and finishing with just 5 points on 2 of 9 shooting.

Jenkins Jr. Returns

David Jenkins Jr. made his season debut after suffering a bone bruise in practice from an errant head butt from Mason Gillis in practice last Saturday. The bruising and blood clot was so severe he had to go to a plastic surgeon to remove it yesterday. The swelling went down afterwards and he was able to get onto the court for the first time in almost a week.

“I hadn’t practiced since Saturday so I haven’t been able to get up and down,” Jenkins Jr. said about his first game of the season after missing a week with energy.

“We needed him to go out there and get this under his belt for Tuesday,” Coach Painter said about Jenkins Jr. getting into his first game of the season.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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