WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Freshman Caleb Swanigan and senior A.J. Hammons both scored 15 points to lead four Purdue players in double figures and the 11th-ranked Boilermakers remained unbeaten with a 95-64 victory over Youngstown State on Saturday.
Hammons added 11 rebounds. Rapheal Davis and Issac Haas both scored 13 points for Purdue (11-0), which had a 54-point second half.
Matt Donlan had 19 points to lead Youngstown State (4-6).
Purdue improved to 11-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 team won its first 14. The Boilermakers have won every game by at least 12 points, pulling away from Youngstown State during the second half.
A 3-pointer from Dakota Mathias gave the Boilermakers a 76-55 lead, and a free throw from Haas extended it to 77-55 with 7:17 remaining. Two free throws by Swanigan with 4:09 to play pushed the lead to 86-59.
A layup by Hammons and consecutive dunks by Hammons and Davis gave Purdue a 61-41 lead with 12:17 remaining, prompting a Youngstown State timeout.
Tied at 18 with 8:58 remaining in the first half, Purdue closed the opening 20 minutes on a 23-12 burst, including 3-pointers from Davis and Ryan Cline, for a 41-30 lead.
Swanigan had 11 points, two rebounds and two assists for the Boilermakers in the first half, and Davis added nine points on three 3-pointers. Purdue was 6 of 11 from beyond the arc before halftime.
Youngstown State: This was the Penguins second trip ever to West Lafayette, dropping a 65-54 decision on Dec. 17, 1983. … Youngstown State was coming off a week of final exams after a 60-56 loss to American on Dec. 4. … The Penguins have not beaten a Top 25 opponent since 1952 when they defeated No. 19 La Salle 68-57.
Purdue: Boilermakers starting point guard P.J. Thompson left the game with 17:21 remaining in the first half after being poked in the right eye under the basket. … Purdue fans applauded loudly with 5:49 left in the first half when coach Matt Painter inserted the 7-foot-2 Hammons into the lineup with 7-footer Isaac Haas, the first time this season he has played the two together.
Youngstown State hosts Geneva on Tuesday.
Purdue plays Butler in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis on Dec. 19.
2014-15 Season Preview: Can Green Bay take the next step, represent the Horizon League in the Tournament?
The Horizon League drew most of its attention from the college basketball general public in 2013-14 for regular-season champion Green Bay’s early exit from the league’s conference tournament. Considered by many to be the heavy favorite to make the 2014 NCAA Tournament after a 14-2 regular season mark in the conference, the Phoenix ultimately fell short in the semifinals as some analysts used the Green Bay loss — and subsequent NIT appearance — as an opportunity to blast the conference tournament method of NCAA Tournament selection.
While Green Bay was one of the better mid-major teams in the country during the regular season last year, they fell to Milwaukee at home in the tournament. But with four returning starters, the Phoenix are favored to win the league this season.
Even with the departure of senior center Alec Brown, who was selected in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, head coach Brian Wardle still returns Horizon League Player of the Year favorite in senior point guard Keifer Sykes as well as forward Jordan Fouse,who might be the league’s best defensive player. Green Bay will miss the skill level of Brown on the interior, but they might actually have more interior depth this season as 6-foot-9 senior and double-figure scorer Greg Mays returns and Wardle recruited a few big bodies to bolster the rotation of big men that he can use.
Challenging Green Bay this season will Cleveland State, who has multiple all-league candidates, including senior point guard Charlie Lee, junior big man Anton Grady and junior guard Trey Lewis. Senior forward Marlin Mason acts as a stretch four and 6-foot-9 redshirt sophomore Aaron Scales can play this season and gives the Vikings another big body on the interior.
The most intriguing team in the Horizon League this year could be Valparaiso, who returns 6-foot-10 rim protector Vashill Fernandez along with three talented sophomores — point guard Lexus Williams, forward Alec Peters and forward Jubril Adekoya — and Charlotte transfer E. Victor Nickerson. Bryce Drew’s ballclub went a surpring 9-7 in the league last season despite starting Adekoya, Peters and Williams as true freshmen.
Billy Donlon loses five of the top six scorers from a Wright State team that fell short in the conference tournament finals a season ago, but the Raiders return 5-foot-9 senior point guard Reggie Arceneaux along with 6-foot-6 sophomore J.T. Yoho and guard Crishawn Hopkins. Wright State had 10 players average double-figure minutes last season, so expect Donlon to go to his seven-man recruiting class early and often for depth.
Defending conference tournament champion Milwaukee will not represent the Horizon League again in the NCAA Tournament. This isn’t a bold prediction, but a truth, as the Panthers are ineligible for postseason for low APR scores. But three starters still return for Milwaukee, led by senior point guard Steve McWhorter and junior big man Matt Tiby and Northern Illinois transfer Akeem Springs should add some scoring punch on the wing.
Detroit has the pieces to surprise in the Horizon this season as senior wing Juwan Howard Jr., returns after a breakout junior season. If the son of the former Fab Five member can get some help from Colorado transfer Chris Jenkins or 6-foot-8 sophomore Paris Bass, the Titans could compete sooner than later. Bass, in particular, will be one to watch after sitting out last season.
Oakland now faces life in the post Travis Bader-era, as the NCAA’s all-time leader in three-pointers has graduated and moved on. The Golden Grizzlies will now have to rely on the inside-outside combination of senior big man Corey Petros and returning Horizon League Freshman of the Year Kahlil Fielder at point guard. St. John’s transfer Max Hooper, who shot 40 percent from three-point range in his final season in New York, will get a shot at replacing the prolific Bader.
PRESEASON HORIZON LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Keifer Sykes, Green Bay
One of the most dynamic point guards in the country, the 5-foot-11 senior puts up numbers all over the floor and usually rises to the occasion when Green Bay has a big game. A freak athlete with outstanding leaping ability and quickness, Sykes is a difference-maker on both ends of the floor and averaged 20.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game in his junior season. The only thing missing on the resume for the senior is a trip to the NCAA Tournament and he’s focused on leading four returning starters to the Big Dance in 2014-15.
THE REST OF THE PRESEASON ALL-HORIZON LEAGUE TEAM:
Juwan Howard Jr., Detroit – The son of former NBA veteran and Fab Five member Juwan Howard, the 6-foot-5 senior had a breakout junior season, averaging 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and also leading the Titans in assists.
Corey Petros, Oakland – A 6-foot-10, 260-pound senior, Petros is a load to handle on the interior and averaged 13.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season on 57 percent field goal shooting.
Alec Peters, Valparaiso – The 6-foot-9 sophomore had a huge impact as a freshman, averaging 12.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game on some impressive shooting splits for a player his size (49% FG, 77% FT, 38% 3PT).
Trey Lewis, Cleveland State – The Vikings have multiple all-league candidates but Lewis averaged 13.6 points per game as a sophomore and if the 6-foot-3 guard improves his shooting percentages, that number could climb greatly.
A 6-foot-6, 200-pound native of Indianapolis, Weber had a breakout sophomore season for the Penguins as he averaged 12.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while also shooting 41 percent from three-point range and 85 percent from the free-throw line. The second-leading scorer for Youngstown State upped those numbers to 13.8 points per game and 45 percent three-point shooting during Horizon League play.
Weber will have to sit out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules but will have two years left at Ball State.
The Cardinals only shot 31 percent from the three-point line as a team during the 2013-14 season and only MAC Freshman of the Year, guard Zavier Turner (40 percent), shot better than 32 percent from the three-point line. Weber should give them another perimeter weapon when he’s able to play after next season.
“We are extremely excited to add Ryan Weber to our program,” Ball State head coach James Whitford said in the release. “Ryan had a great season at Youngstown State and has proven he can produce at a high level in college. He has improved so dramatically over the past two years, and we feel he has the right work ethic and the right talent to become an even better player than he is already. We are really excited about his future, and we think he will make a big impact in our conference when he becomes eligible.”
Weber joins a six-man class for Ball State that includes junior college forward Bik Gill as well as high school guards Jeremie Tyler and Francis Kiapway, wing Sean Sellers and forward Rashaun Richardson.
All month long, CBT will be rolling out our 2013-2014 season preview. Check back throughout the day, as we’ll be posting three or four preview items every day.
To browse through the preview posts we’ve already published, click here. To see the rest of the Conference Previews we’ve published, click here. For a schedule of our previews for the month, click here.
Green Bay and Wright State enter the 2013-14 season as the top two competitors in the Horizon League. The two were separated by a single point in the preseason Horizon League poll — with Green Bay coming out on top — but thanks to its experience from last season going from a predicted last place to conference tournament title game, Wright State gets the slight edge as the No. 1 team in NBCSports.com’s Horizon League preseason rankings.
Led by nine of their top 10 returning from last season’s team — plus the inclusion of Butler transfer Chrishawn Hopkins — the Raiders are deep and experienced and led by senior forward Cole Darling.
Green Bay, led by the talented duo of point guard Keifer Sykes and center Alec Brown, have arguably the deepest mid-major frontline in the country with the 7-foot-1 Brown, sophomore Jordan Fouse, junior Greg Mays and Eastern Illinois transfer Alfonzo McKinnie. All four can rebound and block shots and McKinnie is even versatile enough to play a bit on the wing.
Oakland could be in-line for a good year as the newcomer to the Horizon League. The Summit is typically more wide-open, but the Golden Grizzlies are battle-tested and led by one of college basketball’s premier shooters in senior Travis Bader. Bader averages 22 points a game and is 101 three-pointers short of J.J. Redick’s career record after knocking in 139 last season. Defense will be the big concern for Oakland, but they’ll score in bunches.
Cleveland State and Youngstown State both have pieces to compete in the fourth and fifth spots of the Horizon League. Vikings sophomores Anton Grady and Bryn Forbes as a formidable inside-outside attack while Preseason Player of the Year Kendrick Perry can do a bit of everything for Youngstown State.
UIC and Valparaiso lose a lot of experience from postseason teams while Milwaukee and Detroit are in rebuilding mode.