WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Someday, Matt Painter's young Purdue
squad might develop the killer instinct it needs.
Until then, he'll take the wins however they come.
Chris Lutz scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half to lead
Purdue past New Orleans 68-56 Saturday night. The Boilermakers
(4-4) had plenty of chances to make the game a blowout but didn't
take control until a run early in the second half put them up
Purdue led by as many as 23 points in the second half but
allowed the Privateers to finish strong.
"You've got to learn to close games and take care of the
basketball," Painter said. "It was kind of like tennis ---- a lot
of unforced errors throughout the game."
Lutz had some errors, too. The freshman had six turnovers, but
made up for it by shooting 4-of-9 from three-point range and
Earnest Daney led New Orleans (2-6) with 18 points on 8-of-11
The Boilermakers shot 50 percent from the field, improved to 4-0
at home and bounced back from a loss to Loyola-Chicago.
New Orleans shot 1-for-6 and had eight turnovers in its first 14
possessions of the game.
"You can't go on the road anywhere and do what we did to start
the game and expect to win," said New Orleans coach Monte Towe.
"Let alone coming into Purdue."
Purdue led 30-17 at halftime. The Boilermakers held the
Privateers to 7-of-26 shooting and forced 13 turnovers before the
New Orleans cut the Purdue lead to 35-29 early in the second
half, but the Boilermakers went on a 14-4 run to force the
Privateers to call timeout.
New Orleans' poor offensive output followed a 94-53 loss to LSU
"I'm disappointed in the turnovers," Towe said. "I can accept
a lot of things, but turnovers eat me alive."
Towe gave Purdue credit for playing aggressive defense.
"I think Matt has got them playing very aggressive, playing a
tough man-to-man," he said. "It's hard for us to simulate that
kind of defensive pressure, I think, because our guys don't play
Purdue put an extra emphasis on defense during the week after
the Boilermakers gave up 80 points in the loss to Loyola.
"This week, coach focused on defense, rebounding and putting
pressure on the ball," Lutz said. "The last few games, we had
gotten away from pressuring the ball up top. That helps so much."