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Unbeatens collide as Marquette takes on Purdue

Sportsnaut
Purdue Boilermakers Zach Edey (15) dunks the ball during the NCAA men   s basketball exhibition game against the Truman State Bulldogs, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.

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Credit: Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Marquette will look to open the season with three consecutive wins for the second straight year when it takes on Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., on Tuesday as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games.

After seeing early success under then-first-year head coach Shaka Smart last season, the Golden Eagles (2-0) are repeating the pattern this time around.

Following a season-opening win over Radford, Marquette defeated Central Michigan 97-73 on Thursday in a student-only game at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee. Sophomore David Joplin led the way, scoring a career-high 23 points thanks in large part to six 3-pointers.

For Joplin, the atmosphere played a large role in his success.

“I loved it,” Joplin said. “I love when all the students come out. The gym is smaller, so they filled the whole thing up and they were loud. Games like that, I live for.”

It was a welcome sign seeing Joplin succeed, as Smart has come to rely upon him and other younger players in the program.

“We have a young group and we’ve got some guys that are still becoming what they’re going to become,” Smart said. “David Joplin, Kam Jones, Stevie Mitchell, every one of our freshmen. These guys have the opportunity and potential to be terrific players.”

But now the Golden Eagles take to the road for the first time this season, and they will clash with the Boilermakers (2-0), who beat Austin Peay 63-44 on Friday in their latest contest.

Zach Edey was phenomenal in the victory, recording a double-double with a career-high 30 points and 11 rebounds. He was the only Purdue player to score in double figures.

Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said that performance stemmed from a fast start, something he hopes Edey will continue to produce as the season progresses.

“I just thought Zach did a good job of establishing himself and getting off to a good start,” Painter said. “When you have that kind of ability to get that kind of position down low, teams have a decision to make.

“We all know he’s capable of having games like this throughout the season.”

–Field Level Media