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December 4, 2012

Never a doubt for Purdue vs. Lamar







Listen: Matt Painter | Players Terone Johnson, A.J. Hammons and Dru Anthrop | Lamar coach Pat Knight

PDF: Purdue-Lamar Box Score

In what was clearly not the most significant Boilermaker-related news of Tuesday night, Purdue beat Lamar 72-39 in a game that was more a favor than anything.

Matt Painter dreaded coaching against long-time friend and Cardinal coach Pat Knight, son of former Indiana coach Bob Knight, but agreed to the game to help Lamar score an important "money" game, earn some exposure in Knight's native Indiana and test its rebuilt roster against a high-major opponent in front of a larger venue than it'll see all year.

"He's a friend of mine, and has been for a long time," Painter said of Knight, who the Boilermaker coach met for dinner the night before the game. "I'd prefer not to play friends. It was not fun for me to play against Bruce Weber and Illinois. That wasn't fun at all. A lot of people don't realize that until you can go through it."

The result was predictable, a game Purdue led start to finish, by as many as 34, with the outcome of the game never once in doubt.

But as Painter and players have said, given their struggles, Purdue's issues right now are with Purdue as much as, if not more than, with opponents.

With that in mind, the Boilermakers did some positive things, even though the game's one-sidedness didn't exactly make for grueling game conditions.

A few days after going 0-for-17 from three-point range in a loss to Xavier, Purdue was far more judicious with its approach offensively.

Terone Johnson was active in going to the basket in scoring a game-high 16 points. And the Boilermakers got the ball inside to center A.J. Hammons, who chipped in 13 points.

"We talked about it in practice, that we need to get the ball inside, whether it be throwing it inside or us driving inside," Terone Johnson said. "Every time we get two feet in the paint, we score a lot more than we don't. That was a big emphasis tonight."

And Purdue's strong rebounding continued, as it should have considering the matchup.

The Boilermakers grabbed 50 rebounds to Lamar's 31. Purdue collected 19 offensive rebounds. Eighteen of its points came off "second-chance" opportunities.

But, again, game conditions were what they were.

Painter emptied his bench, playing everyone. A dozen players logged at least 10 minutes, including guard Dru Anthrop, who played 23.

"I've made a huge mistake not playing him," Painter said, lauding the senior's effort.

D.J. Byrd took just one shot in 18 minutes.

"We don't need him to do heavy lifting every night," Painter said. "Tonight, he was solid."




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