No. 19 Purdue uses 13 first-half 3s to crush Fairfield
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — No. 19 Purdue had a first half to remember.
Dakota Mathias, Vince Edwards and P.J Thompson combined for 46 points in the opening 20 minutes and the Boilermakers made 13 of 18 3-point attempts in the half on the way to a 106-64 victory over Fairfield on Saturday night.
Mathias, Edwards and Thompson — all seniors — were a collective 13 of 15 from beyond the arc during the first 20 minutes when the Boilermakers (4-0) built a commanding 58-28 lead against the previously unbeaten Stags (2-1).
Purdue finished with a school-record 19 3-pointers.
At the half, Mathias had 18 points, Edwards 16 and Thompson 12. Mathias finished with a game-best 23 points, while Vince Edwards had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Carsen Edwards scored 18 points with six assists and Thompson finished with 12 points.
“We have a lot of potential with our offense, the way we shoot the ball,” Mathias said. “It shows in our shooting numbers.”
Vince Edwards had 11 points during the game’s first 6:35.
“I was open for my first shot, and I just kept going back there to the corner,” Edwards said. “Credit my teammates for feeding me. Everybody fed off it, and we got hot.”
Fairfield, which entered allowing only 62 points a game, gave up four less than that in the first half.
Purdue shot 51.4 percent from the field (38 of 74), including 19 of 31 from 3-point range (61.3 percent). The Boilermakers outrebounded the error-prone Stags 42-34. Fairfield was guilty of 22 turnovers, which led to 28 Purdue points.
The Boilermakers are 4-0 for the ninth time in coach Matt Painter’s 13 seasons at his alma mater.
“We got in a rhythm with our shots,” Painter said of Purdue’s fast start. “It’s contagious. We were able to knock down shots and then build off that. We just have to move the ball. We have played a lot of basketball together, and that helps.
“We had respect for Fairfield. I think you can tell that from how hard we played. We had respect for them, but we just didn’t let them get their heads up.”
Last year’s team — led by current Portland Trail Blazer Caleb Swanigan — began 11-0 and won the Big Ten regular-season championship.
Fairfield: Guard Tyler Nelson was impressive with 16 points, but he got little help.
Purdue: The Boilermakers made five 3-pointers during the first 3:26 to lead 15-3 and remove any questions about the outcome. Purdue entered averaging 100.7 points a game and did nothing to damage that average.
LOTS OF OFFENSE
Purdue has scored 105 points or more in three of its first four games and had 86 in Tuesday’s Gavitt Tipoff Games victory at Marquette.
Mathias is averaging 16.8 points a game for the Boiermakers and has made 13 of 16 attempts from 3-point range (81.2 percent), including 6 of 6 in scoring 23 points against Fairfield.
Purdue’s starting five of Mathias, Vince Edwards, Haas, Carsen Edwards and Thompson were a collective 29 of 45 (64.4 percent). That included 16 of 21 from 3-point range.
Fairfield: Will host Jacksonville on Friday.
Purdue: Will face Tennessee on Wednesday in the Bahamas in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
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