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Purdue University

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Boston College
at Purdue
When: 9 p.m. today
Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette
TV: ESPN2
Radio: 1380 AM

Boilers’ inconsistency baffles Painter

Purdue coach Matt Painter has dealt with inconsistency, both as a player and as a coach.

But the type he’s seeing from his Boilermakers this season is new territory for a coach who’s been in the profession for more than two decades.

“We’re showing success and failure against the same thing, so I think it just lies within us to continue to plug and continue to work,” Painter said ahead of his team’s game against Boston College in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge today in West Lafayette. “We’ve had the tale of two halves for three straight games. We’ve got to get more fight to us just across the board.”

It happened in Florida during the Old Spice Classic when Purdue (6-2) was outscored 52-29 by then-No. 5 Oklahoma State in the first half, then rallied to make it a 10-point game in the end. The next game was a loss to Washington State in which the Boilermakers gave up a 10-point halftime lead and were outscored 52-27.

Even against Siena, a team Purdue beat just before heading to Florida, the inconsistency remained. Purdue was down 43-30 but outscored Siena by 18 to escape the Classic with a 68-63 victory.

Painter wants to eliminate that up-and-down play. He just isn’t sure how to do it.

“I’ve never, as an assistant or a head coach, been with a team that can show such promise in one half and the other half lose their focus or not make winning basketball plays, not tough it out on a certain possession,” to this extent, Painter said. “It’s a hard thing, and it’s a positive that you show that you can be successful, but it’s also a negative in terms of when things don’t go your way, you’re not able to right the ship. You have to show more consistency.”

The Boilers were outscored 147-86 in their bad halves at the Classic. In their better halves, they won the scoring battle 123-82.

Painter believes his team is more of the latter than the former, and although he doesn’t have the answer now, he believes his team can even out.

There would be no better time to do it than against the Eagles (3-4).

Boston College has won three of its last four. Its loss came by two points to then-No. 18 Connecticut, and after an 0-3 start, the Eagles look to have hit a stride.

They did so just in time to make a Purdue win look pretty good.

“They have a lot of weapons,” Painter said of Boston College, which features a tough trio of Olivier Hanlan (21.7 points and 3.3 assists per game), Ryan Anderson (19 points and 7.1 rebounds per game) and Joe Rahon (13.4 points per game on 40.6 percent 3-point shooting).

“They have two guys that average 40 between them, a good inside-outside combo that really puts you in a bind to go along with Rahon. Those three guys are very efficient with what they do offensively.”

smorrison@jg.net

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