Revamped backcourt helps No. 23 Purdue get past Green Bay

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Graduate transfer Jahaad Proctor scored 26 points and Eric Hunter Jr. added 15 to help No. 23 Purdue pull away from Green Bay 79-57 on Wednesday night.

The Boilermakers have won seven straight season openers, 18 in a row at Mackey Arena and 20 consecutive home games against non-conference foes.

Kameron Hankerson led the Phoenix with 15 points. Freshman Amari Davis and JayQuan McCloud each scored 10 for Green Bay (0-1) as coach Linc Darner returned to his alma mater.

Proctor, who spent the last two seasons at High Point, and Hunter, who made only one start as a freshman, spent most of the night finding lanes to the basket. Eventually it opened things up for their teammates.

And it didn't take long for the defending Big Ten regular-season co-champs to assert themselves.

Purdue scored the first eight points, took a 14-2 lead less than six minutes into the game and never lost control. When Green Bay answered with eight straight points to cut the deficit to 14-10, Purdue scored another eight in a row to rebuild a 22-10 lead.

The only real scare came when starting guard Nojel Eastern injured his left wrist when he was fouled with 5:30 left in the first half. Following a brief delay, Eastern walked straight to the locker room but returned before halftime with the wrist taped.

Purdue finally sealed the victory with a late 8-0 run that made it 69-49 with 4:32 to play.

BIG PICTURE

Green Bay: Darner's team just couldn't match Purdue's size or depth. But the Phoenix managed to stick around long enough to show why they could be a legitimate Horizon League contender.

Purdue: The Boilermakers certainly can play defense. They held the usually high-scoring Phoenix without a 3-pointer in a first half during which they also forced 10 turnovers. They just need to find a quicker knockout punch.

STAT SHEET

Green Bay: The Phoenix shot 36.5% from the field and went 8 of 21 on 3s after scoring 81.3 points per game last season. ... Green Bay has lost 11 straight against Big Ten teams. ... Darner's streak of alternating losses and wins through his first five season-openers continued. He's now 2-3 on opening night. ... Purdue had a 44-16 scoring advantage in the paint.

Purdue: Coach Matt Painter improved to 14-1 in season openers at Purdue. ... The Boilermakers have won 16 in arrow against Horizon League foes. ... Matt Haarms had 16 points and seven rebounds. ... Proctor was 11 of 17 from the field. ... Hunter added four rebounds and six assists, while Aaron Wheeler finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

UP NEXT

Green Bay returns home Saturday to face Wisconsin-Stout, a Division III school.

Purdue hosts Texas on Saturday in an early-season matchup between power-five conference schools.

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11/6/2019 9:12:13 PM (GMT -5:00)