Purdue basketball has had trouble closing out games this season, blowing huge leads against Butler and Xavier. The second half just hasn't been good for Purdue. With Purdue gaining a reputation for blowing close games in the second half, the Big Ten opening win in Iowa City was huge for the Boilermakers.
With the win, the Boilermakers move to 11-3 and 1-0 in conference play.
This game was more than a win for the Boilermakers, though, it was a turning point. Closing out a game was important, and getting a jump start on the road in the Big Ten will set the tone for the rest of the season.
Purdue got productivity from a lot of players, especially off the bench. The Boilermakers had 36 points off the bench, and it really provided a spark for Purdue.
Robbie Hummel led Purdue with a double-double, recording 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Along with Hummel who had a huge night, Purdue was given a big spark by D.J. Byrd off the bench who scored 14 points from the pine and hit shot after shot.
It was really a turning point for Purdue.
Jumping ahead early with a road win in conference play is essential for this squad to have a successful season.
With Purdue starting off on the road, they now have a very talented Illinois team at home on New Year's Eve in the friendly confines of Mackey Arena where Purdue has won 30 straight games.
Moving forward, it was great to see John Hart have a break-out performance with limited action and Byrd playing great. It will be essential for Purdue's foul-prone lineup to mix it up offensively to be successful in the Big Ten season.