Edey’s double-double, Smith’s 19 points lead No. 2 Purdue past Indiana
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue center Zach Edey wanted to leave Indiana with a lingering impression Saturday.
Naturally, he delivered.
The reigning national player of the year had 26 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and the first 3-pointer of his career while leading No. 2 Purdue to a 79-59 victory over archrival Indiana.
“I’m the best shooter in the country,” he joked when asked about the 3. “It was big. We owed them after last year. Me and the seniors all really felt that this was our last time to come out with that fire and that’s what we did.”
The 7-foot-4 Edey dominated the middle again and he had plenty of help as the Boilermakers (22-2, 11-2 Big Ten) won their eighth straight. Braden Smith had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Mason Gillis made three 3s to finish with nine points.
It marked the first time since 1993-94 that Purdue beat Indiana twice in the same season by 20 or more points.
CJ Gunn had a career-best 13 points for the Hoosiers (14-10, 6-7). Kel’El Ware added 11 points and eight rebounds, and Trey Galloway finished with 10 points and seven assists.
It was a familiar script for Purdue — and Indiana coach Mike Woodson.
Indiana led for the first 6 1/2 minutes and still was within 20-18 a little more than midway through the first half. But the Hoosiers missed 10 of their next 11 shots and Purdue again closed the first half with a strong finishing kick. That 15-1 spurt helped the Boilermakers take a 37-25 halftime lead.
“This was a tough game because you’re on the road, playing the No. 2 team in the country in a hostile environment,” Woodson said. “I thought we played well early but from the 10-minute mark going into halftime, we couldn’t score and just threw the ball away a couple times.”
Unlike last month’s game, though, Indiana never charged back. Instead, the Boilermakers opened the second half with 10 straight points. Indiana never challenged again. And Edey sealed it with his 3-point bank shot.
“Do I have the ball, like the game ball?” Edey said when asked again about the long-range shot. “I’m going to go look for it.”
Purdue: The Boilermakers have been one of America’s top teams each of the past two seasons. Not surprisingly, wins at Wisconsin, in overtime against Northwestern and now a sweep of Indiana has Purdue well-positioned for a second straight Big Ten title run.
Indiana: Woodson’s team has struggled with consistency, especially on the road. It happened again Saturday. Woodson appeared to bring the competitiveness back to this series with three straight wins over the previous two seasons. But both games this season were blowouts, and time is running short for Indiana to build its resume.
Defending national champion UConn won twice this week, making it likely the Huskies again will prevent Purdue from ascending to No. 1. But there’s little doubt the Boilermakers will extend Division I’s longest active streak of being ranked in the top five to 31 in a row.
Indiana: Hosts Northwestern on Feb. 18.
Purdue: Hosts Minnesota on Thursday.
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