WVU entered their opening game of the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament after beating each of their opponents by double-digit margins, to end up with a 4-0 start to the season.
Purdue also entered the contest undefeated and it would be West Virginia’s first real test against a ranked team. To secure a win, the Mountaineers would need to find a way to face Zach Edey, the tallest player in Big 12 history at 7′ 4”, who is averaging more than 20 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks thus far.
The Boilermakers started on a 9-0 run, before Jimmy Bell Jr. scored on Zach Edey for the first Mountaineer points of the game.
Joe Toussaint came on after just five minutes of play and provided an offensive spark for WVU, scoring eight points on 100% shooting before 10 minutes.
Purdue held control of the game for the majority and with six minutes remaining in the half, got its first double-digit lead off a jumper by Gillis.
The Boilermakers would suffer a goal drought that would last more than two minutes later, but West Virginia was still unable to close the gap, having made only one of their last eight shots to this point.
Purdue hit a hard three into the corner to bring them back into double figures to close the half, with the score 43-32.
Shooting was a big 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 efficient enough for Purdue, amassing 12 points in the period.
Joe Toussaint was the single highlight for the Mountaineers, who finished the half with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench.
Kedrian Johnson kicked things off with a three-pointer to start the second half, having played just six minutes in the first due to foul problems.
In the 14th minute, Erik Stevenson had scored the last six points for the Mountaineers, starting with an electrifying dunk, to push his team into single digits.
An alley-oop from Kedrian Johnson to Mohammed Wague in transition made the score 57-47, with just over 11 minutes of play remaining.
At the five-minute mark, WVU had gone on an 11-2 run to get four runs, following a three by Kedrian Johnson.
Purdue clawed back to a double-digit lead, but Erik Stevenson scored five runs in seven seconds to continue notching.
West Virginia, however, could not close the gap, and despite missing the lead once in game length, the Mountaineers never gave up, but lost their first game of the season 80-68.