WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Setting a school record for fewest turnovers in a game always is impressive. Doing so in your season opener is nearly unfathomable.
No. 11 Purdue committed just three turnovers in an 82-50 win over Detroit Mercy on Friday night. The previous record was four turnovers, set on March 22, 1969, against UCLA.
The Boilermakers committed just one turnover in the first half. Mercy coach Ray McCallum couldn't recall seeing such a performance.
"Their sureness with the ball is incredible, regardless of the time of season," he said. "It makes a statement on how skilled they are."
The Boilermakers led by as many as 34 points in the second half and were so impressive that McCallum said Purdue looked like a team playing in January. Purdue coach Matt Painter disagreed, but he liked what he saw.
"That's another great compliment," Painter said. "Obviously, we are in different positions. He is trying to build from the ground up with his program. We're in a different place. We are looking to take that next step."
The Boilermakers, the preseason favorite in the Big Ten, found a few things to worry about. They took some bad shots and were outrebounded 41-36. But they held Mercy to 33 percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers.
The disparity in turnovers highlighted the kind of efficiency the Boilermakers expect.
"That's one emphasis we have -- don't have more than six turnovers," Moore said. "That's our goal in a half. That's something that helps us win games. Stopping the other team and taking care of the ball."
The blowout was expected. Purdue returns all of its starters from a team that went 25-9 last season and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament, while Mercy was coming off a 7-23 season.
It took Mercy more than four minutes to make its first basket, but Purdue's offense started nearly as poorly. The score was tied at 5-all six minutes into the game before Purdue got going. Johnson scored six straight points as the Boilermakers took a 24-13 lead.
Kennedy scored 11 points and made three 3-pointers in the first half, but the rest of the team shot 4-for-18 from the field before the break.
Moore was a second-team all-Big Ten selection last season, but Purdue's depth and the emergence of freshman point guard Lewis Jackson forced him into a reserve role.
"You just focus on the game," Moore said. "I just came in. It didn't matter if I started or came off the bench. You have to be ready to play."
Johnson's career high came after a preseason game in which he had 22 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks. He shot 6-for-8 from the field against the Titans.
"I'm just trying to find open spots," he said. "I know these guys will find me. I've just got to continue to be active. These guys are unselfish. They're going to get me the ball if I move."
Purdue will play Eastern Michigan on Monday in the NIT Season Tip-Off. The Boilermakers have been awarded the top seed in the tournament, which concludes Nov. 28 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Painter said the team likes the possibility of a trip to New York.
"I think our guys are really looking forward to that, but I think when you have a lot of hype about your team, you have to keep your focus on Eastern Michigan," Painter said. "That's all we worry about. If you keep it as simple as that, it's easier for guys to keep their focus and play hard."