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December 17, 2013

Breakdown: Maryland-Eastern Shore

Purdue hosts Maryland-Eastern Shore in its second-to-last non-conference game Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Mackey Arena.

About Purdue:: Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
Projected starters (last game): C - Jay Simpson; F - Kendall Stephens; F- Basil Smotherman; G - Ronnie Johnson; G - Terone Johnson

About Maryland-Eastern Shore:: Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats

Broadcast info:: Radio: Purdue Sports Network | TV: ESPN3 | LIVE: Join GoldandBlack.com tonight for our 30-minute pre-game 'Game Day Live' chat session, then our Twitter account, @GoldandBlackcom, for in-game updates.

Game Breakdown
At 8-3, Purdue's not really where it wanted to be at this point.

"I didn't think we'd have lost three games if I'd looked at the whole schedule (before the season)," point guard Ronnie Johnson said. "This is definitely not where I wanted to be and there were a few games I thought we could have won. We have to learn from those games and bring that into the Big Ten and hopefully we can knock off some of those highly ranked teams."

Maryland-Eastern Shore, a 2-5 opponent obviously Purdue will be expected to handle, serves as the Boilermakers' final contest prior to its non-conference finale at West Virginia Sunday.

The Hawks have lost by at least 30 to each of the high-major opponents they've played thus far, a 109-63 loss to Iowa and a 98-66 result against Oregon State.

"It's really about worrying about us," Coach Matt Painter said on his radio show Monday evening, "and taking care of the basketball."

Painter has repeatedly said of the Boilermakers' 76-70 loss to Butler Saturday, "We beat ourselves," referencing 18 turnovers.

It will be interesting to see how Painter handles lineups with non-conference play winding down, as Purdue's remained inconsistent, struggled on offense and been loose with the ball on offense, especially against Butler.

Painter's already used five starting lineups this season, though a couple disciplinary matters factored into some of the shifts.

Maryland-Eastern Shore will run and gun.

But it's a 38.5-percent shooting team to this point that's turned the ball over 16 more times than it's handed out assists.

The Hawks' leading scorer is guard Hakeem Baxter, who averages 16.4 points and its second-leading scorer is KyRee Jones, a well-traveled player - he attended six high schools and now three colleges - who once played at Lawrence North in Indianapolis. Judging by his play back in those days, he will chuck it.

Jones, the son of former Chicago State coach Kevin Jones, who's now an Eastern Shore assistant coach, averages 16 points but is shooting 34.5 percent.

Of note: This is UMES' sixth road game out of eight this season. … Eastern Shore was 2-26 last season.

Prediction: Purdue has much to iron out as conference play approaches. Will this game reveal much in terms of progress? Nope. Purdue 90, Maryland-Eastern Shore 62

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