Fletcher Loyer: 27 points, 6 3PT marks, 3 assists
Zach Edey: 12 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks
Derrick Walker: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Keisei Tominaga: 16 points, 4 3PTs made, 1 steal
Back on Dec. 10 in Lincoln, a scrappy Nebraska team coerced Purdue into an abysmal shooting performance and forced the Boilermakers to work overtime. Purdue would end up winning 65-62. In that game, it was Fletcher Loyer who led all scorers with 22 (a career high at the time). Fast forward to tonight and it was Loyer again who led all scorers with 27 (his new career high) and the Boilers ejected the Huskers from Mackey with a blistering loss. Here’s how it happened:
Just like last time, Nebraska intended to put bodies on Zach Edey so the Naismith favorite couldn’t drive the ball deep. But when you double-cross the big man, it leaves shooters open. Purdue’s first 5 baskets all came from beyond the arc and it was clear early on that Fletcher Loyer was in for a big night as the rookie made 4 of those 5 3s. , Purdue led 15-4 and Zach Edey didn’t even have a shot attempt. The Huskers would cut the lead a bit, eventually finding themselves within 5 minutes with two minutes left. Purdue would then end the half on a 6-0 run to take an 11-point halftime lead. It should also be noted that Nebraska was without Sam Griesel and Juwan Gary for this game. The pair account for just over 20 Nebraska points per game, so a big loss for the battling Hoibergs.
Purdue started the second half the way they finished the first: on a scoring run. An 11-0 run for almost the first four minutes seemed to put this match aside. Purdue’s lead wouldn’t dip below 15 for the rest of the game and was really held up by a few questionable calls from the referees, including a classic “Zach Edey is great so we’re calling the foul on him.” Derrick Walker had a good game with some savvy moves in the post, ending with 19 points. Additionally, Keisei Tominaga again played a pesky role, scoring 11 of his 16 in the second half and getting a bit under the Paint Crew’s skin with his antics. But Purdue had the last laugh as they emerged victorious over the Paint Crew’s wonderful “Whose House” chant which was, without a doubt, fantastic to hear at Mackey.
Take away food
Nebraska was the team to figure out how to lock up Zach Edey by sending him the farm. Two of Zach’s 3 weakest outings this season have been against Nebraska, so they seem to have the plan. However, it’s clear that when you double Zach the shooters can burn you, and mainly Loyer burned the Cornhuskers tonight.
Kudos to Matt Painter for getting his 400 backe win as head coach of Purdue tonight! Coach Painter becomes the fifth Big Ten coach to reach 400 wins and opens the team this year with its best 17-game start since 1993-94 (16-1). To many more victories, Coach Painter!
Purdue introduced the Anthracite jerseys in this game and can I say they are beautiful! This is how you make a gray uniform because the gray brings out the gold. I’m really a sucker for the dark gray/black alternatives and these are perhaps my favorite. The next replacement has to be the Purdue script, right?
It was the Paint Crew’s first game since the break and they were full tonight. Even up to 20, the Paint Crew weren’t afraid to yell at the referees for some dodgy calls. They are the best fans in the country and make Mackey one of the top three venues in the NCAA. I’m also informed that they were rewarded with the Frisbee Dog halftime show, and I’m here for it. Nothing but good vibes tonight. Boiler!