Ethan Morton's steady performance leads Purdue to beat Texas 81-71
March 22, 2022
Through the first 15 games of the season, sophomore guard Ethan Morton has been a steady contributor for the Purdue men's basketball team, but he's also been the lowest-scoring member of the roster.
Since the beginning of the season, Morton has also been a part of the team, and he's played well when called upon. He showed up against Texas on Sunday with a couple of key 3-pointers as the Boilermakers defeated the Longhorns 81-71.
In the game against Texas, Morton had a season-high eight points. The 20-year-old point guard helped the team advance to the Sweet 16.
Morton attributed his success to the support he has received from his teammates and coaches. It can be hard to predict who will be called upon when the team's roster is deep.
"It's really just a credit to my teammates and my coaches. They put me in position to succeed, and it's just about being ready," the 6-foot-4 guard said. "I think that's what this team's embraced all year. When we're 10 deep like we are, you kind of don't know when your number's going to be called just because you don't know how the game's going to unfold."
Morton provides solid support
During the game against Texas, Morton was tasked with guarding Marcus Carr, one of the Longhorns' experienced guards.
The Butler-native point guard hit the team's only 3-point shot during the first half. He also blocked a shot by Texas' senior forward Timmy Allen and passed the ball to Purdue's star Jaden Ivey.
Morton made the shot during a 20-0 run that the team made during the first half after Ivey distracted Texas' guard.
Ivey, who led the team with 18 points, said that he and Morton have the same confidence. The sophomore guard works on his shots and is constantly pushed to improve.
"I have the most confidence in Ethan," said the shooting guard. "He comes in every day and puts work in. He's constantly working on his shots. I trust him to take a lot of shots during the game. When he's open, I can't miss him, I've got to throw it to him."
On stopping Carr
Marcus Carr, a player transfer from Minnesota, scored 23 points for Texas, but Morton and senior guard Eric Hunter Jr. prevented him from earning easy baskets. Carr shot 8-18 from the field, including a 50 percent three-point shooting. His offensive versatility caught the attention of the Boilermakers' defenders.
Morton played a total of 14 minutes during the first half to help slow down Carr. He also made a couple of crucial offensive plays after halftime, including the three-point shot that came off of a fastbreak pass from Ivey.
Morton led the team with a plus/minus rating of 18. His coach, Matt Painter, praised his performance, saying that he was able to contribute to the team's victories.
"Ethan was great," Painter said. "He made those two free throws there at the end, he made those two threes, he was just steady. You look at his plus/minus, he just does a lot of winning things when he's out on the court."
After defeating Texas, the team is headed to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in six years. Despite the victory, the players are still focused on making it another deep run in the tournament.