WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Coming off of two huge victories over North Carolina and Villanova this past weekend, it would have been easy for Purdue basketball to get complacent. That wasn’t the case Friday at Mackey arena, as the No. 3-ranked Boilermakers routed the University of Omaha 97-40.
Purdue (6-0) had four players score in double-figures, led by sophomore center Zach Edey’s 20 points. Senior forward Trevion Williams added 14 points off the bench to go along with a team-high 10 rebounds.
“A lot of teams tend to settle. You build so much and learn so much about ourselves within that trip, and we came out with two big wins,” Williams said. “A lot of teams settle, and they get comfortable. It’s hard to build off the energy we had this past weekend. Our focus tonight was to come out strong and stay locked in the whole game.”
The Boilermakers trailed just once the whole contest, jumping to a 31-3 lead in the first 11 minutes of the first half. Omaha (1-5) struggled all afternoon to get shots to fall, shooting 27% for the game.
By the end of the game, Purdue registered a 48-16 scoring advantage in the paint. Edey led the team with 14 points before halftime, but it was sophomore Brandon Newman who closed out the first half on a high note.
The 6-foot-5 guard scored the team’s final 10 points to close the half, which included two 3-pointers. Purdue led 52-17 at the break, and Newman finished the game with 16 points on 4-of-9 shooting with five rebounds. He also made all five of his free-throw attempts.
In the team's victories over North Carolina and Villanova, Newman scored just three total points.
“He needs more minutes for his value to go up,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said of Newman. “It was great, we all know how well he can shoot the basketball. Just trying to find him in his spots, especially after he’s hit a couple.”
Purdue’s 35-point halftime lead tied the third-largest in program history. The team also went the first 20 minutes without committing a personal foul.
In the second half, the Boilermakers were sloppy out of the gate, turning the ball over three times in the first two minutes. Purdue registered seven turnovers in the second half after having five in the first.
However, a 15-0 run early in the second half put the Boilermakers’ lead to 51 points with about 11 minutes to play. With the game in its hands, Purdue had a dozen players score a basket and 10 logged more than 15 minutes on the floor.
Before the game, Painter emphasized that the team should play to its strengths to build off of its Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament victory.
“We want to approach every game like that, like it’s the last game of the year. We want to approach it like it’s a tournament game," Williams said. "Any given night, anybody can be beat. It happens because teams disconnect and they settle. They get comfortable.
“We came off two big wins this weekend, and continuing to build off it can help us in the long run. We’ve gotta approach every game the same way, treat everybody the same. I think tonight was a confidence game for us.”
Purdue now looks toward a matchup with Florida State on Tuesday at Mackey Arena for the 23rd annual Big Ten/ACC Men’s Basketball Challenge.
Stories Related to Purdue Basketball
- PURDUE, OMAHA LIVE BLOG: Purdue basketball was back at Mackey Arena for yet another nonconference matchup. The team faced off against the University of Omaha. 'CLICK HERE
- HUNTER SAYS 'NO CEILING' FOR BOILERS: Purdue guard Eric Hunter Jr. was a guest on the Sasha Live! podcast this week and talked about the big weekend wins over North Carolina and Villanova, and the high expectations for the future this season. "There is no ceiling for this team,'' he said. Watch the entire podcast here. CLICK HERE
- PURDUE RANKED THIRD IN AP POLL: Purdue basketball moved up to No. 3 in the AP Top 25 poll after earning victories over Wright State, North Carolina and Villanova. The team was previously ranked No. 6 in the nation after starting the season with two victories at Mackey Arena. CLICK HERE
- PURDUE TAKES DOWN VILLANOVA: Purdue battled back from down 11 points in the second half to defeat Villanova in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament on Sunday at the Mohegan Sun Casino. Sophomore center Zach Edey led the way with 21 points. CLICK HERE
- BOILERMAKERS DEFEAT NORTH CAROLINA: No. 6 Purdue had three players score 20 points or more in a 93-84 victory over No. 18 North Carolina on Saturday. CLICK HERE