No. 5 Purdue 86, Valparaiso 62
Valparaiso coach Homer Drew offered mock praise after the
Crusaders were blown out at Purdue.
“Thank you for staying the entire game after they started
raining 3s on us,” he said.
The fifth-ranked Boilermakers made 10 of 22 3-point attempts to
beat Valparaiso 86-62 on Wednesday night.
Purdue has built a reputation for playing tough man-to-man
defense under coach Matt Painter, but the Boilermakers are also
showing they have a high-scoring, efficient offense. Perhaps the
Boilermakers’ most impressive statistic was their 20 assists on 29
JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore each scored 19 points. Moore
tied a career high with five 3-pointers for the Boilermakers (8-0),
who are off to their best start since the 1993-94 season.
“I wouldn’t say we’re in a comfort zone, but we’re confident,”
Painter said. “When you get comfortable, you get beat, That’s why
you have to keep players on edge.”
Purdue’s Robbie Hummel went 3 for 3 from 3-point range and
scored 15 points after shooting 21 percent from behind the arc over
the first seven games. Keaton Grant scored 10 points and Chris
Kramer had seven assists and three steals for the Boilermakers.
Purdue seems to have left its early shooting woes behind. The
Boilermakers shot 53 percent, their second straight game of better
than 50 percent shooting.
“We just started making shots,” Hummel said. “We haven’t
really been doing anything different.”
The Boilermakers certainly haven’t done anything different on
defense. Purdue held the Crusaders to 42 percent shooting and
forced 18 turnovers. The Boilermakers entered the game ninth
nationally with 20 turnovers forced per game.
“This has been our worst performance,” Drew said. “It goes to
show you how well their defense plays.”
Brandon Wood had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Cory Johnson
had 11 points for Valparaiso (3-6).
It was Purdue’s final warmup before playing at Alabama on
Saturday. Painter was pleased with the way his team handled the
Crusaders, considering the fact that their next game will be
against a marquee opponent.
“It shows the maturity of our team,” he said. “They’ve come
out ready to play every single night.”
Johnson scored nine quick points, and Purdue made nine of its
first 11 shots to take a 22-3 lead.
Kramer had the highlight of the first half, banking in a layup
while falling forward to the floor as Tommy Kurth tried to draw a
charge. Kramer made the free throw after the foul to give the
Boilermakers a 30-8 lead.
The Crusaders didn’t grab a rebound for more than eight minutes
to start the game.
One game after Purdue made 11 of 16 from 3-point land in the
second half against Buffalo, the Boilermakers made 7 of 11 in the
first half against Valparaiso to take a 47-25 lead at the break.
Purdue shot 59 percent overall in the opening 20 minutes.
“I think a lot of it is confidence,” Painter said. “The last
half of the Buffalo game, it carried over to this game.
Moore made 5 of 5 from long range and scored 17 points in the
“I guess that’s good,” he said. “I wish I could do that every
Purdue’s starters made 22 of 39 shots and had 14 assists against
“I thought our starters were sharp and simply ready to play,”
Painter said. “It’s good to see those guys get in a rhythm.”