The Journal Gazette
 
 
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 9:00 pm

No. 6 Purdue beats Wright State, 96-52, in final tournament tune-up

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

WEST LAFAYETTE – Trevion Williams, Zach Edey and Caleb Furst all had double-doubles to lead No. 6 Purdue to a dominant 96-52 victory over visiting Wright State in front of an announced sellout crowd of 14,804 tonight at Mackey Arena.

3 Takeaways

  • Undersized teams are in big trouble: Purdue had one of the best big man combinations in the country last season in Trevion Williams and Zach Edey. Now, the Boilermakers have added 2021 Indiana Mr. Basketball Caleb Furst to the mix as a power forward and it's difficult to see how any team without a sizable frontcourt will be able to hang with the Boilers on the glass. Sure, teams such as Illinois and Michigan will be able to push Purdue on the boards because they possess similar height (though even they don't have the same kind of depth Purdue does up front), but undersized teams such as Wright State? Forget it. The Boilermakers won the rebounding battle 56-23 tonight and it seemed like it was more lopsided than that. On offense, Purdue scored baskets off of each of its first eight offensive rebounds as Williams, Edey and Furst scored against a Raiders team that could do almost nothing about it. The Raiders had no answers tonight and likely would not be able to come up with any unless it involved each of their forwards growing 4-6 inches. Relatedly...
  • Caleb Furst matters to this team: The Fort Wayne native out of Blackhawk Christian was the best player on the floor in the game's first eight minutes, helping Purdue get out to an early lead. He finished with a career-high 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting and added a career-best 11 rebounds (for his first career double-double) and two assists; he even drilled his first career 3-pointer, a nice catch-and-shoot play from the right wing on which he never hesitated. Furst has clearly settled into a nice niche already for Purdue just three games into his college career, doing a significant amount of the dirty work on the boards, finding his way free for easy dunks and layups when defenses focus on Edey or Williams and drawing a bigger defender away from the rim with the threat of a 3-point shot. Essentially, he is playing the role the Boilermakers wanted Matt Haarms to play alongside Trevion Williams in 2019-20, but Haarms was never a good enough perimeter defender to make it work and thus Purdue's two-big lineups mostly fell flat. That isn't the case this year and being able to have two players 6-foot-10 or taller on the court without losing much ability to defend the 3-point line is a huge, rare advantage for the Boilers. Furst makes that possible.
  • Purdue had a defensive gameplan, and executed: Coach Matt Painter said he wanted his team to execute better on the defensive end early in the game after letting Bellarmine and Indiana State hang around a bit because of some defensive lapses in the opening minutes. That wasn't an issue tonight. The Raiders tried to get the ball to star Grant Basile as much as possible in the early going and let him create, but Purdue shut that down, sending a second defender (usually Furst) at Basile when he tried to post up Trevion Williams. When Basile had to give the ball up, the Raider offense stagnated and turned the ball over. It helped that the Boilers gave up few second chances because of their dominance on the glass, but they also played an outstanding defensive game, especially in the first half, when they held Wright State to 23% shooting. That's more like it.

Player of the Game: Trevion Williams

Williams hit 1,000 points with a gorgeous drop-step, hesitation dunk late in the second half. He finished with 20 points on 8 for 11 from the field and added 13 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. The rebounds pushed the senior big man over 650 for his career, making him the 16th Boiler with 1,000 points and 650 rebounds. He also had three assists, including a beautiful dump-off pass to Furst for a dunk in the first half, and added two steals. 

Tip-ins

Purdue is 53-3 at home during November in Painter's 17 years. ... The Boilermakers have scored 90 points in three straight games for the first time in Painter's tenure and first time overall since December 2000. ... Basile, who came into the game averaging 25 points, had seven on 3-for-14 shooting. ... The Raiders are the defending Horizon League champions, coming off an 18-6 season. ... Purdue shot 52% from the field, compared to 31% for Wright State. The Boilers were also 11 of 28 from 3-point range, compared to 5 of 26 for the Raiders. Brandon Newman had five 3s, going 5 for 5 from long range in the second half, while Sasha Stefanovic had four. ... The Boilers had 19 offensive rebounds and a 31-2 advantage in second-chance points. ... Edey had 18 points and 12 rebounds for his second straight double-double. ... Trey Calvin led the Raiders (1-2) with 21 points. ... Williams picked up a technical foul in the final minutes.

What's Next?

The Boilermakers will be back in action Saturday, when they open the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in Uncasville, Connecticut, against No. 18 North Carolina (2-0). The game will tip off at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNews. North Carolina, in its first season under new coach Hubert Davis, has victories over Loyola (Maryland) and Brown. The game is a tournament semifinal, with the winner moving on to play the winner of No. 5 Villanova and No. 17 Tennessee. The championship and third-place game will be played Sunday.

dsinn@jg.net


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