10 Straight for Purdue After A Dominant Win Over Rutgers
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Purdue coach Matt Painter first started using his two 7-foot centers together as an experiment.
Haas scored 14 points and Harams grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots, leading the 13th-ranked Boilermakers to an 82-51 rout over Rutgers for their 10th straight win.
''I like it because it provides a lot of length on defense,'' said Haas, the 7-foot-2 senior. ''I think it allows us to get more spread out on defense. On offense, you have guys that are long rebounders that can go high-low. I just can't wait to see how that develops the rest of the season.''
So far, it's worked beautifully.
The Boilermakers (14-2, 3-0) have won 17 in a row at Mackey Arena and are the only Big Ten team with three conference wins. No. 1 Michigan State and Ohio State can join them Thursday.
And Haas and the 7-3 Haarms played a huge role in turning the tables on Rutgers, which was ranked No. 3 nationally in total rebounds and No. 4 in scoring defense.
But with Haas and Haarms dominating the middle, Purdue outscored Rutgers 28-14 in the paint and had a 45-27 rebound advantage, giving the Scarlet Knights no chance.
''I think all of their lineups cause problems,'' Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said. ''The two big guys do cause problems though each one is different. Haas is a monster down low and the other one is a good shot blocker.''
And the primary reason Painter went with the pairing was because starting forward Vincent Edwards was in foul trouble most of the night.
It wasn't just the big men who got the job done for Purdue, which made 7 of 12 3-pointers in the first half and finished 10 of 23.
Geo Baker had 11 points to lead the Scarlet Knights (10-6, 0-3), who have lost three straight. Mike Williams added 10.
But the combination was simply too much for Rutgers' young team.
The Boilermakers used an 8-0 run to take a 17-7 lead, later extended the margin to 32-17 and headed to the locker room with a 45-24 lead.
Rutgers got as close as 51-37 when Baker made Rutgers' first 3 of the night with 13:27 left to play. Then Purdue answered with six straight and stretched the lead to as much as 33.
''For me, it's more about learning how to play the 4 a little more,'' Haarms said. ''When Coach tells me to go get Vince, I get a big smile on my face.''
Up next, Purdue hosts another Big Ten game against Nebraska on Saturday at Mackey Arena.