WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The most-anticipated Purdue men’s basketball season in years got under way Friday night as the 11th-ranked Boilermakers posted a 94-62 exhibition victory over Florida Southern before a crowd of 13,594 at Mackey Arena.Five Boilermakers scored in double figures, led by E’Twaun Moore with 14 points. Robbie Hummel and Ryne Smith both scored 13 points, followed by Keaton Grant and JaJuan Johnson with 12 apiece. Smith made three of Purdue’s 10 three-point field goals.
Florida Southern, coached by former Boilermaker Linc Darner, is ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division II. Darner was a teammate of Purdue coach Matt Painter from 1991 to 1993, playing for Gene Keady.
The Moccasins outrebounded the Boilermakers 48-42 but shot just 28.6 percent from the field (18 of 63) and committed 27 turnovers. Purdue shot 46.6 percent from the field (34 of 73), turned the ball over just 14 times and came up with 16 steals, including four by Chris Kramer.
Rob Eldridge and Rion Rayfield paced Florida Southern with 18 and 16 points.
Purdue led 43-25 halftime, and the closest Florida Southern got in the second half was 17 points. The Boilermakers led by as many as 34 points. All 13 Purdue players played at least eight minutes, and 12 of them scored.
Purdue scored the game’s first eight points, but the Moccasins came back and got within five points at 13-8 with just under 12 minutes to play in the first half on a three-pointer by Rayfield. It was 25-16 in favor of the Boilermakers when they went on a 16-5 run to claim a 20-point advantage at 41-21 with 3:15 left on a basket by Nemanja Calasan.
Florida Southern had more than twice as many turnovers as field goals in the first half – 19 to 9.
The Boilermakers have won 15 straight exhibition games, dating to a 74-65 loss to the Harlem Globetrotters on Nov. 15, 2000.
Purdue plays its second and final exhibition game Nov. 8 against Northern State, a Division II school from Aberdeen, S.D. The regular-season opener is Nov. 14 against Detroit Mercy.