The third-ranked Purdue Boilermakers will look to continue several impressive streaks when they host the Xavier Musketeers on Monday night in West Lafayette, Ind.
Senior center Zach Edey, the defending national player of the year, scored 18 points and added eight rebounds to lead Purdue (2-0) past visiting Morehead State 87-57 on Friday.
Fifth-year guard Lance Jones added 15 points, including 11 in the second half. Sophomore guard Braden Smith came within two rebounds of his first triple-double, finishing with 11 points, 11 assists and eight boards.
“You see Lance’s ability to pressure the basketball and how that really helps us,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “And then you see when Braden pushes the ball and how it finds him, whether he’s shooting or driving the ball, how it helps us.”
Jumping out fast has been a trend for Purdue to open the season. They scored the game’s first 11 points against Samford last Monday before their 15-0 run on Friday night.
The Boilermakers eventually put Friday’s game away with a 15-5 second-half spurt to post their 26th consecutive regular-season win against a non-Big Ten opponent, breaking the previous school mark of 25 set in November 1994.
Purdue can add to the longest active nonconference win streak in NCAA Division I on Monday when they host the Musketeers (2-0) of the Big East in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.
Purdue’s last regular-season nonconference loss came on the road against the University of Miami (Fla.), 58-54 Dec. 8, 2020.
Purdue also has won 22 straight at Mackey Arena against nonconference foes while posting wins in 16 straight in the month of November — the second-longest streak to Arizona’s 24 in a row.
Xavier enters Monday’s matchup undefeated in two games, dispatching Jacksonville 79-56 on Friday night in Cincinnati.
Two highly touted newcomers contributed to a quick start and a second-half surge that put the game away.
Dailyn Swain collected 15 points, three assists and three steals while fellow freshman Trey Green finished with 10 points.
“I thought Dailyn Swain arguably was our best player tonight,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said after the game. “He can impact the game in so many different ways. I almost feel like, at times, when he’s out there, our team looks more confident when he’s in the lineup.”
Gytis Nemeiksa and Abou Ousmane are likely to draw the assignment of helping out on the 7-foot-4 All-American Edey. Ousmane tuned up for Monday by grabbing six offensive rebounds and eight total to go with nine points against Jacksonville.
After attempting just 11 3-pointers in a 77-63 win over undersized Robert Morris last Monday, Xavier had trouble solving Jacksonville’s zone defense for most of the game.
The Musketeers were just 7-for-29 (24.1 percent) from 3-point range and shot just 39.7 percent from the floor.
“It was a good learning experience. We go through things for the first time constantly,” Miller said. “The next time we play against the zone, we’ll be more confident.”
Xavier led 45-40 with 13:20 left in the second half before Miller called a timeout. Xavier then ended the game on a 34-16 run to give Miller his 149th win as Xavier head coach, passing the late Skip Prosser for third place on the school’s all-time list.
“That was one of the keys we took away from tonight’s game,” Miller said. “Sometimes you have to play through a bad segment. It doesn’t have to linger and go all the way through the end.”
–Field Level Media
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