Associated Press Purdue's Carsen Edwards scored 26 points to lead Purdue, which shot 59 percent from the field, in an easy win over Tennessee State on Thursday night at Mackey Arena.
Friday, December 22, 2017 1:00 am
Purdue 97, Tennessee State 48
Boilers trample tired Tigers
Purdue's 32-5 run to end 1st half makes 8th straight win easy
COREY ELLIOT | Associated Press
WEST LAFAYETTE – No. 16 Purdue had Tennessee State right where it wanted the moment the Tigers set foot inside Mackey Arena.
The Boilermakers haven't left the state of Indiana since Dec. 1, meanwhile Tennessee State was playing its fourth road game in 10 days.
Carsen Edwards scored 26 points, P.J. Thompson finished with 17 and Purdue cruised to its eighth straight win with a 97-48 victory.
Credit the lopsided victory to Purdue coach Matt Painter, who drawing from his own experience had a hunch the Tigers would be entering Thursday night's game vulnerable and exhausted. Not only had the Tigers been traveling since Dec. 12, but they arrived in West Lafayette just three days after taking Texas to the wire in Austin, losing 47-46.
“This was the end of their road trip. They've been on a long road trip and I think it caught up with them,” Painter said. “I think anytime you play the way they did the other day at Texas and (almost) win that game, that opens the eyes of our players. Anytime you play a game like that where the game could have went either way on the road against somebody as talented as Texas, it's going to open the eyes of your next opponent and I think it surely did (for us).”
Tennessee State was hanging around early, trailing 16-11, when it was ambushed by Purdue (12-2). The Boilermakers outscored the Tigers 32-5 during the final 14 minutes of the first half, overwhelming a seemingly exhausted team with a balanced offensive attack.
Purdue outscored Tennessee State 20-0 in the paint and shot the basketball well from beyond the arc, making 6 of 15 3-point attempts in the first half. The Boilermakers shot 58 percent from beyond the 3-point line for the game (15 of 26).
“I thought we did a good job of trying to get the ball inside and just moving the basketball. I think we just have a good balance as a team,” Painter said. “We had a good balance offensively. We did a good job of being efficient on the offensive end.”
Purdue led by as many as 34 points during the first half, where Tennessee State shot 25 percent (6 of 24) which included a nearly 7-minute span where the Tigers (5-6) didn't make a field goal.
Delano Spencer led the Tigers with 13 points. Christian Mekowulu finished with 10 points for Tennessee State.
The Boilermakers continued their rout in the second half, leading by as many as 49 points.
Purdue finished the game shooting 59 percent (34 of 58) from the field with 25 of those field goals coming by way of an assist. The Boilermakers scored 36 points off 17 Tennessee State turnovers.
Painter announced before the game that junior forward Eden Ewing was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules.
“It's unfortunate that this didn't work out for Eden and we wish him the best in his future plans,” Painter said in a news release.
Ewing had appeared in six games this year averaging 1.7 points and 0.5 rebounds in 4.5 minutes per contest. He arrived to Purdue before the season after being named an All-Region honoree at Tyler JC (Texas).
The Boilermakers face just one more nonconference opponent before Big Ten Conference play resumes on Jan. 3 against Rutgers. The Boilermakers will end nonconference play with wins against Arizona, Louisville and Butler. Purdue's non-conference résumé is an impressive one. According to KenPom.com, the Boilermakers' six wins against top 60 teams is the best in the nation.