WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Four Purdue players scored in double figures and former Central Catholic star Dru Anthrop had a career night as Purdue defeated Western Illinois 81-67 in a first-round College Basketball Invitational game Wednesday night at Mackey Arena.
The Boilermakers rallied from a nine-point first-half deficit to take a 37-34 halftime and led the entire second half.
"They came out firing and they were hot and so when I got in I just did whatever I could to get stops because that's what we needed. That translated into us getting some good shots on the offensive end," said senior guard Dru Anthrop.
Anthrop provided a spark off the bench for the Boilers, playing a career high in minutes (24), scoring a career-high four points, grabbing a career-high six rebounds, and dishing out a career-high four assists.
Freshman center A.J. Hammons scored 15 points to lead the victorious Boielrmakers. Freshman point guard Ronnie Johnson added 14 points, four assists, and two steals. Freshman guard/forward Rapheal Davis scored 12 points and Terone Johnson finished with 10 points.
"I think everybody that enters this tournament is in the same position. What is the best thing for your program, what is the best thing going forward? It just made a whole lot of sense for our guys to play. It's still disappointing because we have been to six straight NCAA Tournaments. You have to be mature about it and I thought our guys handled it great," said Purdue head coach Matt Painter.
The Boilermakers advance to the second round of the CBI and will host Santa Clara Monday night at Mackey Arena.
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