Zach Edey piled up career highs of 31 points and 22 rebounds to guide No. 5 Purdue to an 89-70 victory over Minnesota during a Big Ten opener Sunday night in West Lafayette, Ind.
The 7-foot-4 junior recorded a double-double in each half for the Boilermakers (8-0, 1-0), who used a 15-0 run late in the first half to assert their dominance. Fletcher Loyer added 20 points and eight assists and Brandon Newman posted 13 points off the bench.
Jamison Battle drilled 5 of 10 3-point attempts to finish with 21 points for Minnesota (4-4, 0-1). Ta'Lon Cooper notched 15 points and eight assists, but the Gophers were outrebounded 41-21 overall -- and 22-21 by Edey alone.
The Gophers held two brief leads early thanks to baskets by freshman Joshua Ola-Joseph (10 points), who made his first start with usual starter Treyton Thompson unable to make the trip.
Purdue missed 10 of its first 12 shots -- Edey erring on six of his first seven attempts -- but gradually took control as Trey Kaufman-Renn (10 points) came off the bench to deliver a putback and a dunk. Then Caleb Furst (10 points), starting for the injured Mason Gillis (back), drilled a 3-pointer and a turnaround jumper to push Purdue's lead to 17-9.
Minnesota was clinging within 27-20 until Purdue reeled off 15 straight points over a span of 3:48. Edey opened the spree with an alley-oop dunk from Loyer, then added three free throws before Newman cashed a jumper and a 3-pointer and Loyer added a trey. Edey's putback made it 42-20 with 1:34 left in the half.
Purdue owned a 42-27 lead at the break as Edey grabbed more rebounds (12) than the foul-prone Gophers (10).
The Boilers maintained their double-digit lead throughout the second half, but head coach Matt Painter felt compelled to bring Edey back into the game when Braeden Carrington drove for a transition layup to cut the margin to 72-59 with 5:39 to go. Purdue scored the next seven points to clinch the game.
--Field Level Media