No. 21 Purdue pounds Valparaiso
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — No. 21 Purdue is among the more offensively polished teams in the nation. The Boilermakers average nearly 90 points per game, with four starters averaging at least 13 points per game, and they shoot over 50 percent from the field, including 43.4 percent from 3-point range.
However, it was defense that carried the Boilermakers on Thursday as they cruised past Valparaiso 80-50, handing the Crusaders their first loss of the season while winning their fifth straight.
Vince Edwards and Carsen Edwards scored a combined 29 points, 19 of which came in the first half.
“Carsen is always as effective off the dribble as it gets, and I was just kind of choosing to pick my angles a little bit,” Vince Edwards said. “Having big guys like Isaac (Haas) and Matt (Haarms), other teams get worried about that, so it opens up driving lanes even more.”
The Boilermakers (9-2) began the game shooting 1 of 7 from the field but caught fire quickly, using a 21-4 first-half run to take a 36-16 halftime lead.
Vince Edwards (15 points) and Carsen Edwards (14 points) teamed up to shoot 9 of 18 from the field in the first half, helping the Boilermakers overcome early shooting woes.
“I thought we were getting some good shots early. They just didn’t go down, but I thought our defense was great in the first half,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We really did a good job of shutting them down, trying to keep them out of the paint, and that’s what you’ve got to be able to do if you go through some tough times, be able to defend. ... Even though (Valparaiso) got some rebounds on us, we got them to turn the ball over a lot.”
Valparaiso’s Joe Burton led all scorers with 19 points despite shooting 6 of 16, including 1 of 6 from 3-point range. Tevonn Walker had 10 points for the Crusaders, and Jaume Sorolla added four points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Crusaders (8-1) led briefly in the opening minutes, but Purdue closed the half shooting 13 of 23, then never trailed again.
Haas had 10 points and four rebounds for Purdue, and Haarms finished with eight points and six rebounds, though the Boilermakers only won the rebounding battle 40-38.
After scoring a combined 46 points in the Boilermakers’ last two games, Haas was double-teamed most of the night. He converted on all six of his free-throw attempts.
“They obviously double the post all the time ... that’s just part of their game,” Haas said. “I knew that Vince was going to be open. He communicated that to me early in the game when I missed him a couple times, and then after that I managed to step back and find him.”
Valparaiso folded in the face of Purdue’s strong defensive effort despite a stagnant offensive start. The Crusaders committed 18 turnovers leading to 18 points for the Boilermakers.
The Boilermakers committed nine turnovers while dishing out 16 assists. They entered the game with a 1.54 assist-to-turnover ratio.
NOTES: Purdue F Matt Haarms is averaging 3.2 blocks per game, which ranks 13th in the nation, and the most among freshmen. He blocked two shots Thursday. ... The Crusaders’ 8-0 start was the third best in school history. ... Purdue owns a perfect 4-0 all-time record against Valparaiso. ... The Crusaders shot a season-low 33.3 percent from the field. The Boilermakers hit 45.2 percent of their field-goal attempts.