No. 4 Boilermakers smack Buffalo in home win

The Purdue Boilermakers offered a frightening example of what they can do when they shoot well.

Purdue made 11 of 16 3-pointers in the second half, and the No. 4 Boilermakers pulled away for a 101-65 win over Buffalo on Saturday.

Chris Kramer and E’Twaun Moore each scored 14 points, JaJuan Johnson scored 12 points and Robbie Hummel added 11 for Purdue (7-0).

Purdue entered the game unbeaten despite having shot 38 percent from the field in its first six games, and the Boilermakers hadn’t shot better than 46 percent in a game this season. The Boilermakers primarily attacked the basket in the first half, then went to the perimeter in the second.

Both approaches worked, as Purdue shot 52 percent overall against the Bulls.

“I think it was just great to get layups and easy buckets in the first half,” Kramer said. “The second half, you saw just how we can shoot the ball.”

Even Hummel, who had been struggling with his outside shot this season, made a 3-pointer in the second half and ran downcourt with a big smile on his face. The career 39 percent 3-point shooter had made just 22 percent so far this season.

It was the second-highest point total for a Purdue team in five seasons under Painter, and the second time since the start of the 1999-2000 season that the Boilermakers reached the century mark. Purdue had last scored more than 100 points in a 102-65 win over Southeast Missouri State on Dec. 30, 2006.

The Boilermakers won their first seven games for the first time since 1993-94.

“It’s satisfaction of having success and getting better,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “It’s not one of our goals to go 7-0. We go to the next game. That’s what you have to do. As a coach, it’s your job to keep your players on edge.”

Painter never doubted that the Boilermakers would break out of their 3-point shooting slump.

“Once you can hit a couple, you can loosen up,” he said. “We have a lot of guys who can shoot the basketball.”

Painter liked the way his team responded after its win over Wake Forest on Tuesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

“I felt that our guys were really ready to play,” Painter said.

Rodney Pierce led Buffalo (3-3) with 22 points and Calvin Betts added 14.

Purdue made six 3s in the first 10 minutes of the second half to help stretch the 19-point halftime lead to 40.

Seven different Purdue players made at least one 3-pointer. Painter cleared the bench with about five minutes to play. John Hart put Purdue over the 100-point mark with a 3-pointer with 2:17 to play.

Buffalo took a 15-14 lead before the Boilermakers responded with a 15-2 run. A powerful two-handed alley-oop dunk by Johnson on an assist from Keaton Grant and the free throw after the foul gave the Boilermakers a 30-17 lead.

Purdue extended its lead to 45-26 at halftime. The Boilermakers shot 50 percent from the field, and Kramer led the way with 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting.

Kramer, better known for his defense, was aggressive from the start. He scored six points in the first 3:20 of the game to surpass his season scoring average of 5.7.

“He did a very good job of getting us off to a good start,” Kramer said. “If the defense is going to sag off, he’ll take that shot. He allows us to have very good balance. He kind of just does what’s needed for the team.”

The Boilermakers forced 14 turnovers and held the Bulls to 34 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes.

Purdue‘s D.J. Byrd, Moore and Ryne Smith each made a 3-pointer in a two-minute span to turn a 59-36 lead into a 68-38 edge with 13 minutes to play. The Boilermakers led by as many as 43 points.

Kramer said Purdue has done a good job of getting shot opportunities in the first halves of games, but the Boilermakers haven’t capitalized.

“I don’t think we need to do anything different,” he said. “We get looks early and often, we just need to knock them down.”