Proctor guides Purdue past Green Bay

College Sports

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – Graduate transfer Jahaad Proctor scored 26 points and Eric Hunter Jr. added 15 to help No. 23 Purdue pull away from Green Bay 79-57 on Wednesday night.
The Boilermakers have won seven straight season openers, 18 in a row at Mackey Arena and 20 consecutive home games against non-conference foes.
Kameron Hankerson led the Phoenix with 15 points. Freshman Amari Davis and JayQuan McCloud each scored 10 for Green Bay (0-1) as coach Linc Darner returned to his alma mater.
Proctor, who spent the last two seasons at High Point, and Hunter, who made only one start as a freshman, spent most of the night finding lanes to the basket. Eventually it opened things up for their teammates.
And it didn’t take long for the defending Big Ten regular-season co-champs to assert themselves.
Purdue scored the first eight points, took a 14-2 lead less than six minutes into the game and never lost control. When Green Bay answered with eight straight points to cut the deficit to 14-10, Purdue scored another eight in a row to rebuild a 22-10 lead.
The only real scare came when starting guard Nojel Eastern injured his left wrist when he was fouled with 5:30 left in the first half. Following a brief delay, Eastern walked straight to the locker room but returned before halftime with the wrist taped.
Purdue finally sealed the victory with a late 8-0 run that made it 69-49 with 4:32 to play.
Green Bay: Darner’s team just couldn’t match Purdue’s size or depth. But the Phoenix managed to stick around long enough to show why they could be a legitimate Horizon League contender.
Purdue: The Boilermakers certainly can play defense. They held the usually high-scoring Phoenix without a 3-pointer in a first half during which they also forced 10 turnovers. They just need to find a quicker knockout punch.
Green Bay: The Phoenix shot 36.5% from the field and went 8 of 21 on 3s after scoring 81.3 points per game last season. … Green Bay has lost 11 straight against Big Ten teams. … Darner’s streak of alternating losses and wins through his first five season-openers continued. He’s now 2-3 on opening night. … Purdue had a 44-16 scoring advantage in the paint.
Purdue: Coach Matt Painter improved to 14-1 in season openers at Purdue. … The Boilermakers have won 16 in arrow against Horizon League foes. … Matt Haarms had 16 points and seven rebounds. … Proctor was 11 of 17 from the field. … Hunter added four rebounds and six assists, while Aaron Wheeler finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Green Bay returns home Saturday to face Wisconsin-Stout, a Division III school.
Purdue hosts Texas on Saturday in an early-season matchup between power-five conference schools.

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