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NCAAB: No. 7 Purdue cruises past Bellamine in opener

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Sasha Stefanovic led all scorers with 23 points and Zach Edey had 16 points and nine rebounds as No. 7 Purdue thumped Bellarmine in a season-opening 96-67 victory on Tuesday night in West Lafayette, Ind.

Five Boilermakers scored in double figures, with Isaiah Thompson (15 points), Brandon Newman (14) and Jayden Ivey (11) rounding out a balanced attack. Stefanovic and Thompson sank five 3-pointers apiece as Purdue shot 16-for-36 (44.4 percent) from deep and 50 percent overall.

Bellarmine missed five shots and committed four turnovers while going scoreless over a 5:13 stretch midway through the second half. The Boilermakers extended their advantage from 23 to 34 points during that span and led by as many as 36 during the romp.

CJ Fleming and Dylan Penn scored 14 points each to lead the Knights. Penn had five assists, while Nick Thelen grabbed a team-best five boards.

Purdue rode efficient shooting to a 50-37 halftime lead. The Boilermakers connected on 50 percent of their field goal attempts in the first 20 minutes — 14 of 28 overall, 9 of 18 from 3-point range — while drilling each of their 13 free throws.

The Boilermakers overcame a 9-0 Knights run with a 10-0 surge of their own and led by as many as 17 points before intermission. Edey had 11 points and seven rebounds by the break, and Thompson led all scorers with 12 points.

Fleming paced Bellarmine with nine first-half points, connecting on a trio of 3-pointers.

On the night, the visitors shot 24-for-59 (40.7 percent) from the field but forced 13 Purdue turnovers.

The Boilermakers boasted a 15-2 advantage in fast-break points while outrebounding the Knights 42-22. Caleb Furst added nine rebounds for Purdue.

Purdue improved to 16-1 in season openers under coach Matt Painter.

Bellarmine, in its second season in NCAA Division I, opened a four-game road trip that concludes Nov. 19 with a visit to top-ranked Gonzaga.

–Field Level Media

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