Ryne Smith said he was never really worried after Purdue lost two games - badly - to end the season.
Instead, he said the team was more "on edge."
And he thinks that attitude is the reason the Boilermakers got a victory, their 13th consecutive to open the NCAA tournament, on Friday.
Purdue struggled on offense, defense and rebounding in its losses to Iowa and Michigan State. But after a week's break, it responded by dominating No. 14 seed Saint Peter's, 65-43.
"It was good," guard Lewis Jackson said. "I think this is the best thing we needed because even though that team probably hasn't seen a caliber team like us, it was good for us because we needed to get guys back to getting their confidence up. Ryne still struggled, but D.J. (Byrd) made shots. ... Terone (Johnson) made shots. ... So it's good to get a win and get confidence back up leading to the next game."
There's still some work to be done offensively, though.
Purdue showed more patience on offense than it did during the losing streak, but coach Matt Painter still said he'd like to see better decision-making.
E'Twaun Moore, who led Purdue with 19 points, had seven turnovers and no assists. The Boilermakers had 16 turnovers, their second-highest total of the season and highest since having 19 on Dec. 11.
"I think we were a little careless with the basketball, but that, I think, has a lot to do with Saint Peter's," Painter said. "They're No. 1 in their league (MAAC) defensively. They do a good job of shooting the gap and getting after it."