WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Purdue men's basketball team struggled offensively for most of the night but made plays when they needed to in the second half to hold off the University of Indianapolis for the 80-73 victory.
While it's only an exhibition game, the Boilermakers have a lot to work on as they prepare for the start of the regular season.
UIndy took advantage of the suspension of sophomore center A.J. Hammons, scoring 38 of its 64 points in the paint.
Purdue needed a 14-1 run to take a 41-34 halftime lead. The Boilermakers never got in a shooting groove, hitting 39.1 percent of its shots from the field and connected on 6 of 25 3-pointers.
Freshman Kendall Stephens looked comfortable offensively, showing no fear from behind the 3-point line, Stephens finished with 11 points. As good as Stephens looked from the outside, Jay Simpson who showed life in the middle as the redshirt freshman forward scored 10 points and added 5 rebounds in 20 minutes of action.
Senior guard Terone Johnson had mixed feelings about Wednesday's game but believes this team has what it takes to get the program back to where it belongs.
"I felt like we made a lot of mistakes, defensively and offensively. I think there is a learning curve for that and these guys are willing to sit down and watch film and learn and that's something that we are going to have to do going into these next couple of games. Especially going into the Big Ten," said Terone Johnson.
Purdue head coach Matt Painter played 10 Boilermakers more than 15 minutes as he attempts to figure out how this team will mold together.
"I think we can play a couple of different ways and we have good size. We just have to be better decision makers. You don't need five guys out there always trying to make a play. You need some balance, you need some screeners, you need some guys that will help you with your movement by just passing the basketball," said head coach Matt Painter.
The Greyhounds seek their fourth straight NCAA Division II national tournament berth, led Purdue 33-25 with 5 minutes left in the first half.
“At the end of the day, these guys are Big Ten basketball players and they made the right plays down the stretch,” said Indianapolis head coach Stan Gouard.
As Purdue classes end for the semester, campus bar representatives and local law enforcement met to discuss what they noticed during the semester.
More than 45 kids got a special Christmas gift from the mayor of Lafayette.
Authorities make two arrests Monday night in connection with a counterfeiting case.