Purdue (4-4) at Eastern Michigan (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 8, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (8,824) -- Ypsilanti, Michigan. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Purdue 3-2, EMU 5-0. Away Record: Purdue 1-0, EMU 0-2. Neutral Record: Purdue 0-2, EMU 0-0. Conference Record: Purdue 0-0, EMU 0-0. Series Record: Purdue leads, 3-0.
GAME NOTES: The Purdue Boilermakers take to the road on Saturday for a non- conference matchup with the Eastern Michigan Eagles at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti.
Matt Painter's Boilermakers have been plagued with inconsistency this season, resulting in a 4-4 record thus far. Purdue is coming off a split in its recent two-game homestand, first losing to Xavier (63-57), before routing Lamar (72-39).
Rob Murphy's Eagles have been far more consistent in the early stages of the season, coming into this game with a 5-2 overall mark. EMU had its recent four-game win streak come to a crashing halt this week, with an 84-48 lopsided loss at top-five foe Syracuse.
Purdue has won all three previous meetings in this series, including a 61-36 rout last year in West Lafayette.
The Boilermakers dominated the Cardinals in just about every facet of the game, holding Lamar to a mere .304 shooting, while outrebounding their foe 50-31 and forcing 16 turnovers. Terone Johnson led the way with a game-high 16 points in the win. He was joined in double figures by A.J. Hammons and Anthony Johnson, who finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Purdue's .500 record has been a result of mediocre offensive numbers. The Boilermakers are netting just 69.4 ppg. The team's overall shooting (.427) has been hampered by a miserable .259 effort from behind the arc. Terone Johnson is the only Boilermaker averaging double figures. He is shooting .410 from the floor, including .400 from 3-point range and is averaging 13.1 ppg. D.J. Byrd (9.8 ppg) and Hammons (9.1 ppg) add limited scoring depth.
Glenn Bryant recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn't nearly enough, as Eastern Michigan was crushed at the Carrier Dome this week by the hometown Orange. Coming into the game, EMU ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense, but Syracuse shot a sizzling .514 from the floor in the second half to cruise to victory. EMU was also outmuscled down low, as Syracuse outscored the Eagles in the paint, 48-22. Derek Thompson actually led the Eagles in the scoring column with 18 points, but Eastern Michigan was guilty of 24 turnovers in the loss.
Despite the recent loss, Eastern Michigan is still producing defensively overall, limiting the opposition to mere 57.1 ppg, on well under 40 percent shooting (.377). Although the Eagles are only putting up a modest 60 points per game, three players currently average double figures, led by Thompson's 13.6 ppg. Daylen Harrison and Bryant round out the top threats at 12.4 and 11.6 ppg, respectively.
All of Eastern Michigan's wins this year have come at home, but the competition hasn't been stellar. The Boilermakers are coming off a win and should be able to make it two in a row behind the play of Johnson and company.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Purdue 64, Eastern Michigan 58
12/08 10:38:44 ET