PISCATAWAY, N.J. — No. 22 Purdue did just what it had to do against injury-ravaged and undersized Rutgers.
It pounded the ball inside and came away with a record-setting performance that rewrote parts of Purdue and Rutgers history.
Freshman Caleb Swanigan had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and the Boilermakers held a 63-23 advantage on the boards in beating Rutgers 107-57 on Monday night, posting their biggest Big Ten Conference victory ever while handing the Scarlet Knights’ their worst home loss.
The 50-point win eclipsed Purdue’s 48-point margin in a conference game against the University of Chicago on Jan. 14, 1929, a 64-16 decision.
“I feel like things were going our way,” Swanigan said. “As a team it might have been our best game as a whole entire unit. It’s easy to agree with that because the whole team played well and we can just keep feeding off this.”
The 40-rebound edge was also a team mark and the 107 points tied a season high for Purdue.
Rutgers previous worst loss at home was a 111-69 decision to Lafayette on March 3, 1956.
Vince Edwards had all 12 of his points and eight rebounds in the first half when the Boilermakers (16-3, 4-2 Big Ten) built a 33-point halftime lead.
“It’s a big achievement to be able to rebound the way we did and play as hard as we did. It’s a great achievement as a team,” Edwards said.
Dakota Mathias added 12 points for Purdue which sat its starters with 14 minutes remaining in the game and emptied its bench in the closing minutes.
“We wanted to make an effort to try to get on the glass and establish ourselves there,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “Our guys gave a great effort and showed a lot of discipline not having a turnover the first half.”
Corey Sanders had career-high 23 points for Rutgers (6-13, 0-6), which has lost six straight, all in the conference. The Scarlet Knights have lost their last 20 regular-season conference games, and 21 overall counting the league’s tournament.
Injuries in the front court have hurt Rutgers. Shaquille Doorson (foot) has not played this season and fellow center Ibrahima Diallo was lost to a foot injury after 10 games. Power forward Deshawn Freeman went down after seven games with a knee injury and is also out for the year.
Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan understands this is going to be a learning season with the injuries and he wants his players to continue working and learning. He would like them to be more physical in games.
“This is not gloom and doom right now,” Jordan said. “Anybody can paint it the way you want to paint it. Our guys, we have a job to do. We stay together, we keep our spirits up and we have coaches good enough to keep our spirits up in practice, and we move forward.”
Rutgers forward D.J. Foreman, who had 13 points and team-high seven rebounds, said nothing went right, especially on the boards with Purdue having a decided height advantage.
“It was rough,” Foreman said. “It’s like you are boxing out one person and another giant comes. It was rough.”
This game was never in doubt after Purdue scored six straight points to snap a 2-all tie. Rapheal Davis got the go-ahead basket on a fastbreak, A.J. Hammonsadded two free throws and Davis followed with a layup.
The margin only grew after that.