Purdue went six minutes in the second half against Xavier without scoring a point. That stretch allowed the Musketeers to turn a two point deficit into a six point lead and they were able to hold on for a 63-57 win in Mackey Arena.
"I think we had consistency as far as playing hard, in the first half. We out rebounded them and things like that. The ball just wasn't going in. It just came down to taking bad shots at bad times and that gave them points," said Terone Johnson. "Not being disciplined is why we lost today."
As the sun began to set on Ross-Ade Stadium, Saturday afternoon, Purdue head coach Danny Hope was perched atop some of his players’ shoulders while the rest of the Boilermakers were hoisting the Old Oaken Bucket for the second straight year.
“It was really a special moment. I never had that happen before,” said Hope.
Running back Akeem Shavers added, “It was one of those moments you see in a movie.”
Purdue’s 56-35 win over rival Indiana was a Hollywood ending, but whether or not a sequel is in the works remains a mystery.
Purdue needed a Terone Johnson buzzer beating three pointer to take a slim one point lead over UNC Wilmington heading into halftime. During the final 20 minutes, the Boilermakers dominated and cruised to a 66-40 win.
“We kind of talked about, early on, just doing what we were supposed to do and I don’t think we came out and actually did that,” said Johnson.
“In the second half we came out and got some defensive stops and got good post defense inside and also the guards played good defense. So, that led to points on offense.”
After Purdue’s season opening loss to Bucknell, head coach Matt Painter preached that his team needed to be more consistent and play with more maturity.
Two days later, the Boilers, with a revamped starting lineup, showed signs that the message had sunk in, but still have room to grow.
“Coach Painter has been doing this for a long time. He knows what he is doing. Also, with that being said, we did lose our first game and he was trying to wake us up and I think he was trying to prove a point,” said Anthony Johnson.
Purdue's men's basketball team is in unfamiliar territory. For the first time under Matt Painter, the Boilers lost their season opener, falling 70-65 to Bucknell.
"We have to do a better job of being a team," said Painter. "We had situations when adversity kind of set in with us when we compounded our mistakes. So instead of having a couple of bad possessions, we would have four possessions that were poor. We've just got to be more consistent and more mature as a team."