No. 6 Purdue's 64-38 victory over Central Michigan wasn't flashy.
The Boilermakers were sluggish at points with a season-high 17 turnovers and had stretches without much energy.
But they clamped down when needed, holding the Chippewas for long stretches without points (a pair of 6-plus minute spans in the first half) and shooting 46 percent from the field and 95 percent from the line (19 of 20).
The success from the line was nice to see, considering Purdue had struggled a bit there this season. In the previous four games, the Boilermakers shot 67 percent, 57 percent, 85 percent and 73 percent in games. They were shooting 70 percent on the season.
"We shoot a lot more free throws in practice now," guard Keaton Grant said. "Coach (Matt Painter) makes us shoot 25 at a time in every quarter. So I think it's getting the reps in practice and getting the free throws is just going to help us not only now but down the line when it really counts, when we're in a tough situation in the Big Ten, on the road. That's when we really need to hit free throws and make less mistakes."
- Point guard Lewis Jackson was on the sidelines on crutches and had his left foot in a boot. Jackson had surgery to repair a broken bone on Nov. 17 and didn't make the trip with the team to the Virgin Islands. Jackson likely won't be made available for interviews until he returns to the court, which may not even be this season.
- Senior Chris Kramer had two fouls in the first half and played only 18 minutes. Coach Matt Painter said if the game was closer, Kramer would have gotten more minutes. "He has a lot of experience," Painter said. "When you get into games like this when you're up 20, 25 points, it's better for the Ryne Smiths, Mark Wohlfords, Kelsey Barlows, who haven't logged a lot of minutes to get more minutes."