WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue coach Matt Painter’s bit of psychology worked.
Unhappy with the way his team played in the opening loss to Bucknell on Friday, Painter made lineup changes. The Boilermakers responded with an 83-54 win over Hofstra on Sunday in the 2K Sports Classic.
Anthony Johnson scored 14 points, Sandi Marcius scored 11 and Ronnie Johnson had nine points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Boilermakers (1-1).
Senior Dru Anthrop and freshman Rapheal Davis got their first career starts for Purdue in place of Anthony Johnson and senior captain D.J. Byrd. Painter said it was about getting the team in a better position heading into Thursday’s game against Villanova.
“I’m trying to get guys to understand about playing together and working hard,” he said. “The guys who started, I thought, did a good job for us. At times you don’t know if it’s going to work or not, but you knew what happened before didn’t work.”
Anthony Johnson said Painter got his point across.
“Coach Painter has been doing it for a long time,” he said. “He knows what he’s doing. We did lose our first game. He’s trying to wake us up and I think he’s trying to prove a point to the older guys. I respect coach Painter, and whatever he does, I support.”
Marcius, a junior post player trying desperately to hold onto his minutes with talented freshmen nipping at his heels, played one of his better games as a Boilermaker.
“The guys were looking inside at me and passing and I was in the right place at the right time, keeping it simple,” he said. “I’m going to try to keep doing that.”
Terone Johnson, who missed the opener with an ankle injury, came off the bench and scored six points for Purdue.
Jimmy Hall scored 17 points and Moussa Kone added 12 for Hofstra (0-2), which made just 19 of 55 shots in the game.
Three Hofstra transfers didn’t play — Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (Connecticut), Taran Buie (Penn State) and DaQuan Brown (Fresno State). Coombs-McDaniel and Buie were suspended for violating team rules and Brown isn’t eligible because of transfer rules.
“It’s tough,” Hofstra coach Mo Cassara said. “I told Matt (Painter) before the game, we have three transfers, three high-major transfers sitting at home right now. It’s a little frustrating right now.”
The situation provided an opportunity for the remaining players.
“They’re going to get better, and it’s certainly an experience,” Cassara said. “It’s never fun to lose, but it’s a good experience for those guys.”
Hofstra led just once — with 17:30 left in the first half. The Boilermakers’ biggest lead was 29 points late in the first half.
Purdue outrebounded the Pride 50-22 after getting outrebounded by three against Bucknell.
“That was one of the two things that we put the emphasis on,” Marcius said. “The second one was to be more patient on the offensive end.”
The Boilermakers struggled with their free-throw shooting in the opener but made 10 of 13 against Hofstra. Purdue won easily despite committing 20 turnovers, including 12 in the second half.
The Boilermakers led 42-17 at halftime. Twelve Purdue players logged at last five minutes in the first half, and 10 of them scored. Ronnie Johnson and Marcius led the way with seven points in the first half. Purdue shot 56 percent from the field and outrebounded Hofstra 24-7 before the break.
Hofstra shot 5 for 21 from the field in the first half, and only four Pride players scored in the first 20 minutes.
The Boilermakers continued the onslaught in the second half. D.J. Byrd’s 3-pointer gave Purdue a 51-22 lead. Anthony Johnson’s 3-pointer with just over 13 minutes to play pushed the advantage to 58-25. Anthony Johnson’s four-point play gave the Boilermakers a 74-46 edge.