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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 02 Purdue at Maryland

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Last season, Purdue had to go to Maryland during a rough patch in the season and got dominated by the Terrapins. On Tuesday night, the Boilers were able to exorcise any demons left behind from a season ago.

The Boilermakers led from the very beginning and never relinquished the lead as they upended Maryland 67-53.

One of the things that plagued the Boilers in their road game to Maryland last season was perimeter shooting, going 2-13 from 3-pt-range in that loss.

Last night, Purdue came out swinging from deep with Trey Kaufman-Renn and Fletcher Loyer to get their rhythm jumping out to a 12-4 lead in the game’s first six minutes.

The Boilers made two more threes in the first half which certainly helped their offense given the fact that Maryland’s defense, as you might expect, doubled up on Purdue’s All-American center Zach Edey.

Head coach Matt Painter said despite his team’s 32-19 halftime lead, his players could have been cleaner on both sides of the ball in the first half.

“In the first half, we had a lot of opportunities to push that lead and be in a better position,” Painter said after the game. “We would have been in a great position if we could have boxed out and got more rebounds in the first half. That was really (the Terps’) offense.”

Purdue stayed hot shooting from deep going into the second half with Lance Jones hitting three threes in the first six minutes of the second half.

The sharp shooting finally gave way for Edey to do what he does best in the paint. He finished the night with 23 points and 12 rebounds for yet another double-double.

Jumping out to a 20-point lead at one point in the second half, the Boilers saw a bit of a scoring drought midway through the half, but their defense kept the Terps at bay, so much so the Boilers held Julian Reese, who averages 14 points per game for Maryland, to zero on the whole night.

For Painter, the 67-53 win answered some lingering questions he and his staff had about his squad.

“The question for us was: Can we go on the road, face a good team, you know, not play great offensively, and still win,” Painter said. “We had a great second half. Plus, Julian Reese didn’t score. He’s a good player. We did a good job of bottling him up.”

The Boilers have an even tougher test coming up on Friday as they will welcome #9 Illinois to Mackey Arena in West Lafayette.

Purdue is 13-1 on the year and 2-1 in Big Ten play. Already behind the eightball in the conference thanks to their loss to Northwestern, a win over Illinois will pay big dividends as they try to get back atop the Big Ten standings.

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