WEST LAFAYETTE –Purdue rebounded – literally and figuratively – in a big way Sunday.
Anthony Johnson scored 14 points as the Boilermakers defeated Hofstra 83-54 in a 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project West Lafayette Regional contest in front of 13,427 fans at Mackey Arena.
Purdue bounced back nicely from Friday’s 70-65 loss to Bucknell in the season opener.
The Boilermakers were outrebounded in that contest 36-33. Purdue (1-1) dominated the boards against Hofstra (0-2). The Boilermakers had 50 rebounds, and the Pride finished with 22.
“Any time you go from getting outrebounded to outrebounding your opponent by 28, that’s definitely a good sign,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said.
Fort Wayne native Rapheal Davis finished with a team-high seven rebounds to go along with eight points. Ronnie Johnson and Travis Carroll both had six rebounds. Sandi Marcius finished with five.
“That was one of the two things we put an emphasis on,” said Marcius, who also had 11 points. “The second was being more patient on the offense end. Being patiently aggressive helped us get all those rebounds as well.”
“Their big guys just really beat us up on the glass,” Hofstra coach Mo Cassara said.
Purdue shook things up, inserting Dru Anthrop and Davis into the starting lineup and electing to bring Anthon Johnson and D.J. Byrd from off the bench.
“We’re trying to get guys to understand about playing together and working hard. The guys that started I thought did a good job for us. We didn’t get off to a good start (against Bucknell). We didn’t get off to a good start in the second half, especially. That really was a big part of the game,” Painter said.
“I thought those guys did a good job that started tonight. You’re always as a coach trying to push some buttons and get some guys right. At times you don’t know if it’s going to work, but you knew what happened before didn’t work.”
Purdue got a spark off the bench from Jacob Lawson’s eight points, three rebounds, two steals and one block.
“Coach told me to just go out there and play my hardest, bring energy,” Lawson said. “I’m an energy-type of guy.”
Lawson scored the first six points during a 21-4 Purdue run in the first half. The Boilermakers led 42-17 at halftime.
“He made a difference with his energy and his hustle and his offensive rebounding in that first half,” Painter said.
Purdue had 49 bench points to Hofstra’s 10. Terone Johnson returned to action after missing the opener with an ankle injury and had six points.
The 2K Sports Classic continues with Purdue facing Villanova at Madison Square Garden in New York on Thursday.