West Virginia (7-4) will welcome Purdue (9-3) to the WVU Coliseum in a nonconference match-up that both teams need to add to their resume.
The Boilermakers are coming off a win against Maryland-Eastern Shore, a game in which Purdue cruised to a victory. Purdue downed the Eagles 79-50. The Boilermakers led 37-17 at the half and never looked back.
Terone Johnson led the way for Purdue. The senior, guard scored 14 points while Errick Peck had 9 in their winning efforts. As a team Purdue shot 29-58 (50 percent) from the field and 8-16 (50 percent) from behind the arc. The Boilermakers also had a great game from the free throw line going 13-16 (87.3 percent).
"They're a good team, they are very well-coached," said West Virginia's head coach Bob Huggins. "Historically, [they're] one of the better defensive teams in the Big 10. They got a lot of guys back. I know they like their freshman class."
West Virginia has had a week off after a hard-fought win against Marshall in the Capital Classic in Charleston. The Mountaineers beat the Thundering Herd 74-64.
Juwan Staten paved the way with 19 points while Terry Henderson scored 13. It was Brandon Watkins who had himself a break-out game. Watkins scored 12 points, hauled in 11 rebounds and came up big when the Mountaineers needed him to. This is an encouraging sign for Huggins to see a younger player start to develop.
"He's [Watkins] getting better and better," said Huggins. "He's a working progress. If he continues to progress I envision Brandon getting more playing time."
The Mountaineers shot 25-50 (50 percent) from the field, 9-15 (26.7 percent) from three-point land and 20-28 (71 percent) from the foul line.
West Virginia and Purdue are both looking to add a quality nonconference game to their record. West Virginia is approaching conference play and having a win over Purdue would certainly help build momentum moving forward.
"It's a must win, we lost some games we shouldn't have," said Nathan Adrian. "We need to go on a run before conference play."
West Virginia's win over Marshall was far from pretty. It may have been their ugliest win all season. West Virginia turned the ball over 16 times and usual playmakers like Eron Harris took a while to get anything going.
"We've had a lot of close games this year," said Juwan Staten. "I think our biggest problem is we give up easy buckets late in the game. Those things kill us."
West Virginia is lucky Marshall wasn't able to capitalize on their miscues or they would've found themselves down 30 early on. If the Mountaineers start cold against Purdue it won't be as easy to play catch-up as it was against the Thundering Herd.
"We got a good team coming in here," added Staten. "It's a big personnel game."
"They like to get up and down and they're scrappy on defense," Terry Henderson said. "They're a little undersized. I think that's going to help us. I think everyone's starting to know their role."
The Mountaineers and Boilermakers will tipoff at 1:00 PM from the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPNU.