WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue coach Matt Painter was shocked by how well his team played Saturday. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins was far less surprised that his team played poorly.
D.J. Byrd scored 17 points to help Purdue defeat West Virginia 79-52 on Saturday afternoon.
Rapheal Davis added 16 points, Anthony Johnson 12 and Terone Johnson 11 for the Boilermakers (10-8), who won their third straight.
The Boilermakers led by 14 at halftime and extended their advantage to 32 with 9:29 remaining.
I was surprised, Painter said. I thought we got off to a good start in the second half and were able to push that lead out.
Eron Harris scored 10 points for West Virginia, which barely surpassed its season low of 50 points.
Harris was the only Mountaineers player to reach double figures. The Mountaineers (8-9) have lost three straight and four of five.
West Virginia shot just 29 percent from the field, and the Mountaineers had 17 turnovers.
We turned it over 11 times in the first half, Huggins said. We generally turn it over 11 times in a game.
It was the third consecutive opponent Purdue has held below 34 percent shooting. Penn State shot 26 percent Sunday in Purdue’s 60-42 win and Nebraska shot 33 percent as the Boilermakers prevailed 65-56 in Lincoln, Neb., on Wednesday.
Purdue shot 49 percent and outrebounded the Mountaineers 44-34.
Byrd, who struggled early this season, has caught fire lately. He is averaging 13.7 points during the win streak and has made 11 of 20 three-pointers.
He feeds off of makes, so it’s really important for him to take good shots, Painter said.
The Boilermakers improved to 6-1 all-time against West Virginia. The win gave Purdue a 7-6 record in nonconference play.
Terone Johnson scored on a jumper to give Purdue an early 11-7 lead. Byrd’s three-pointer pushed the advantage to 18-11 with just more than 8 minutes left in the first half. Another three by Byrd made it 21-13.
The Boilermakers led 37-23 at halftime after holding the Mountaineers to 8-of-30 shooting in the first half.
A.J. Hammons opened the second half with a dunk that pushed Purdue’s lead to 17 in the opening minute.
Byrd made three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt to put the Boilermakers up 42-23.
Davis, a Fort Wayne native, hit a three-pointer to bump Purdue’s lead to 47-25.
Davis hit another three to make it 52-27, and the Boilermakers rolled from there.
Huggins said he didn’t know whether Purdue had improved since the games he studied because the Mountaineers played so poorly Saturday. He gave Painter credit for having his team ready to play.
Matt does a great job, he said. They’re going to guard you. They’re going to do the right things. They’re going to play the game the way the game is supposed to be played.