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Illinois v Purdue

Source: Justin Casterline / Getty

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue jumped out to a huge 20-4 lead in the first 10 minutes of their game against Illinois Friday night.

In a game in which the top-ranked Boilers would square off against their fourth opponent ranked in the top ten of the season in #9 Illinois, it seemed like Purdue would wipe the floor with the Illini.

But, despite a long-winded comeback throughout the game by Illinois, Purdue would survive down the stretch to an 83-78 victory, off of some tough rebounding against a tough rebounding team.

“Going into the Arizona game, going into this game, knowing they were good rebounding teams, we responded,” said Purdue head coach Matt Painter after the game. “We out-rebounded them by 15 so we were great in that area.”

Helping Purdue on their 20-4 start to the game, Trey Kaufman-Renn scored 12 of his 23 points in the first half. The Boilers needed his performance as Purdue was without the services of Zach Edey for most of the first half due to foul trouble.

Illinois was still able to take advantage of Edey’s absence as the Illini went on a 10-0 run to cut Purdue’s lead to three with seven minutes left in the half.

Kaufmann-Renn, Mason Gillis, and Landon Jones would keep the scoring up for Purdue going into halftime as they held a 47-32 lead. Rebounding was a big key for the Boilers in the first half.

“We knew they were going to be tough,” said Kaufman-Renn. “Especially them. We knew they were going to go to the glass. We just tried to make (rebounding) a point of emphasis.”

With Edey back in the game Purdue kept Illinois at arms’ length. In fact, Edey, though he only finished with just 10 points, he also gathered 15 rebounds becoming the second Purdue player ever to grab 1,000 career rebounds.

Even with Edey in the game Illinois slowly and furiously reeled Purdue back in on the heels of Qunicy Guerrier and Marcus Domask.

In the final minutes, Coleman Hawkins, who had a tough game all night, hit a three-pointer to cut Purdue’s lead to three once again. But with late-game fouling well in effect to save time by Illinois, the Boilers hit all their free throws to secure the 83-78 win.

“The way Trey (Kaufman-Renn) played tonight is the way he played all summer,” Painter said of Kaufman-Renn’s performance in the game. “You don’t see it all the time because he doesn’t play heavy minutes even though he starts. I though he was fabulous tonight.”

The victory is Purdue’s sixth in a row and gives the Boilers a 43-7 record over their last 50 games, which is the best 50-game stretch in Purdue’s history.

The Boilers will look to keep the good fortune rolling in the coming days as they will head to Lincoln to face Nebraska next Tuesday (1/9).

The post Purdue Survives Long Illinois Comeback Two Extend Win Streak appeared first on WIBC 93.1 FM.

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