WVU entered their initial match of the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament having beat each of their opponents by a double digit margin, to find themselves at a 4-0 start to the season.
Purdue came into the contest undefeated as well, and would be West Virginia’s first real test against a ranked team. To secure a victory, the Mountaineers would have to find a way to deal with Zach Edey, the tallest player in Big 12 history at 7’ 4’’, who’s averaged over 20 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks thus far.
The Boilermakers started off with a 9-0 run, before Jimmy Bell Jr. scored on Zach Edey for the first Mountaineer points of the game.
Joe Toussaint subbed in after just five minutes of play and provided an offensive spark for WVU, scoring eight points on 100% shooting before the 10 minute mark.
Purdue held control of the game for the most part and with six minutes remaining in the half, got their first double digit lead on a jumper from Gillis.
The Boilermakers would go on a scoring drought lasting over two minutes after that, but West Virginia was still unable to close the gap, having made just one of their last eight shots at this point.
Purdue hit a tough three in the corner to put them back up by double digits to end the half, at a score of 43-32.
Shotmaking was a large factor in the double digit deficit for WVU, as they shot just 2/15 from three point range in the first half. Zach Edey was quite efficient for Purdue, putting up 12 points in the period.
Joe Toussaint was the sole highlight for the Mountaineers, who finished the half with 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists off of the bench.
Kedrian Johnson got things going with a three ball to start the second half, after playing just six minutes in the first due to foul trouble.
At the 14 minute mark, Erik Stevenson had scored the last six points for the Mountaineers, starting with an electrifying putback dunk, to bring his team within single digits.
An alley-oop from Kedrian Johnson to Mohammed Wague in transition put the score at 57-47, with a little over 11 minutes of play remaining.
At the five minute mark, WVU had gone on an 11-2 run to get within four points, following a three by Kedrian Johnson.
Purdue crept back up to a double digit lead, but Erik Stevenson scored five points in seven seconds to keep chipping away.
West Virginia was unable to close the gap, however, and despite not leading once in the duration of the game, the Mountaineers never quit, but lost their first game of the season 80-68.