Purdue’s high-octane offense apparently didn’t make the trip to the Bahamas. After an uncharacteristically poor shooting effort, the 16th-ranked Boilermakers aim for a more complete performance Thursday against Western Kentucky in the consolation bracket of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
Entering Wednesday’s tournament opener, Purdue was averaging 102 points and shooting nearly 57 percent, but those numbers did not translate into much success against Tennessee. The Boilermakers shot only 37.3 percent in the 78-75 overtime defeat, committing 18 turnovers and getting outrebounded 50-41 while allowing 20 offensive boards by the Volunteers. “We have a skilled team, but we’ve got to win the possession wars,” Purdue coach Matt Painter told reporters. “We’ve got to outrebound our opponent. We have to have fewer turnovers. When you do, now that skill is really going to help you. I thought tonight we gave Tennessee a lot of help.” Western Kentucky, meanwhile, fell to No. 3 Villanova on Thursday, dropping a 66-58 decision despite 7-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3
ABOUT WESTERN KENTUCKY (2-2): Darius Thompson registered a team-high 16 points on Wednesday and committed only one turnover in 40 minutes, but his teammates struggled to protect the ball. The Hilltoppers finished with 16 turnovers, prompting Thompson to say: “I think our turnovers were kind of self-inflicted. Just trying to do a little too much in the wrong times.” Dwight Coleby notched 12 points and 10 rebounds for his third straight double-double and has shot at least 60 percent in all four games.
ABOUT PURDUE (4-1): Vince and Carsen Edwards combined to go 8-for-30 against Tennessee, although the former finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Carsen Edwards led the team with 21 points and improved to 13-for-13 from the foul line over his last two contests. Dakota Mathias chipped in 15 points and went 3-for-7 from beyond the arc, making him 16-for-23 from long distance on the young season.
1. Purdue’s starters scored 71 of the team’s 75 points versus Tennessee.
2. Boilermakers C Isaac Haas, listed at 7-2 and 290 pounds, only grabbed three rebounds in 24 minutes on Wednesday.
3. Purdue G P.J. Thompson is 7-for-10 from 3-point range in the last two games and 14-for-24 (58.3 percent) this season.
PREDICTION: Purdue 90, Western Kentucky 83