PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Boilermakers Win 7th Straight Opener with Victory over Green Bay
Purdue improved to 1-0 with a 79-57 win over Green Bay in front of 14,804 fans at Mackey Arena … the Boilermakers won their seventh straight season opener, the last six coming by at least 22 points … Purdue is now 101-21 all-time in season openers.
Purdue improved to 3-1 all-time against Green Bay and is now 30-2 against members of the Horizon League … the Boilermakers have won 16 straight games against current members of the league.
Purdue is now 14-1 all-time under Matt Painter in season openers … Purdue has held its opponent under 60 points in nine of the last 13 season openers.
Purdue is now 24-1 under Matt Painter against winless teams at home.
Purdue has won 22 straight games when holding foes under 70 points.
Purdue won its 18th straight home game, now the fifth-longest streak in America and now tied for the fifth-longest streak in school history … Purdue’s 20 straight non-conference home wins are the fourth-longest streak in school history … Purdue has sold out nine straight games dating to last year.
Purdue is now 64-4 (.941) at Mackey Arena since the start of the 2015-16 season … the Boilermakers are 56-2 (.966) with the Paint Crew in attendance over the last 58 games.
Jahaad Proctor’s 26 points are the most in a Purdue debut since Glenn Robinson scored 30 points in his first game in a Purdue uniform on Nov. 29, 1992 … it marked his 27th career 20-point game.
Matt Haarms’ seven blocked shots were a career high and tied for the fifth most in a game in school history … it was the most since A.J. Hammons had eight against Michigan State on Feb. 9, 2016.
Eric Hunter Jr.’s 15 points and six assists were both career highs.
Aaron Wheeler had a career high nine rebounds.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Jahaad Proctor and Eric Hunter Jr. gave Purdue’s revamped backcourt a completely different look Wednesday night.
If the new tag-team tandem keeps operating at peak proficiency, the Boilermakers again could pose major problems for opponents.
Proctor scored 26 points in his first game at Mackey Arena, Hunter added 15 and No. 23 Purdue pulled away from Green Bay for a 79-57 victory — the Boilermakers’ seventh straight opening-night win.
“I just know when the (shot-clock) is winding down it’s time to go make a play,” Proctor said, noting it was the biggest crowd he’s played in front of. “Most of the time I don’t like settling for jump shots because the defense is, nine times out of ten, going to foul you if you get to the basket.”
The style change was obvious right from the start.
Rather than having Carsen Edwards and Ryan Cline pull defenses out with 3-pointers, Proctor and Hunter challenged the Phoenix by driving to the basket.
Together, they were virtually unbeatable.
Proctor, a graduate transfer from High Point, went 11 of 17 from the field while grabbing five rebounds. Hunter, who made only one start last season as a freshman, was 7 of 14 from the field with four rebounds and six assists.
The Boilermakers considered it the perfect ending on a celebratory night on which they unveiled their 24th Big Ten championship banner and played highlights from last season’s Elite Eight run.
But it certainly wasn’t what Green Bay coach Linc Darner envisioned when he scheduled the return to his alma mater.
“He had a great game and when he gets going downhill there,” Darner said, referring to Proctor. “It was hard to guard, we’ve got to do a better job of helping.”
The Phoenix (0-1) never really had a chance after giving up the first eight points and falling behind 14-2 less than six minutes into the game.
Freshman Amari Davis scored six of his 10 points during an 8-0 run that got Green Bay within 14-10, but Purdue scored the next eight to make it 22-10 and the Phoenix never seriously challenged again.
Kameron Hankerson led the Phoenix with 15 points. JayQuan McCloud also scored 10 for Green Bay.
Purdue finally sealed the game with an 8-0 run that extended the lead to 69-49 with 4:32 to play.
“You’ve got to be able to cut through the paint, you got to be able to get the ball in and get angles and attack people in different actions,” coach Matt Painter said. “I thought those guys (Proctor and Hunter) were able to do that.”