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Nov 10, 2022 12:32 pm

Zach Edey, Purdue look to use size advantage vs. Austin Peay

Purdue will look to follow up a convincing victory in its season opener with for a repeat effort against visiting Austin Peay on Friday in West Lafayette, Ind.

Center Zach Edey, who is listed at 7-foot-4 and 290 pounds, dominated both ends of the court on Tuesday. He collected 12 points, 17 rebounds and six shots in an 84-53 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Fletcher Loyer scored a game-high 17 points, including making five 3-pointers, while Brandon Newman came off the bench to score 16 points and collect three rebounds.

Freshman Braden Smith recorded seven points, four assists and four rebounds as well as a whopping seven steals. Mason Gillis also scored seven points and had three steals in the 84-53 win.

“It’s good to get in transition and get some steals and layups and see the ball go through the rim,” Newman said. “It’s contagious. When a guy or two gets a steal, everybody raises their level and their intensity.”

The Boilermakers, who led by as many as 36 points in the second half, made just 27 of 72 shots from the floor (37.5 percent) — including 12 of 34 (35.3 percent) from 3-point range. But they scored 26 points off Milwaukee’s 20 turnovers and outrebounded the Panthers 52-34.

Purdue forced the Panthers to shoot 23 for 60 from the field (38.3 percent), including an abysmal 3 for 19 (15.8 percent) from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile, Austin Peay couldn’t have played much worse in a season-opening, 99-50 loss at North Carolina State on Monday.

The Governors fell behind the Wolfpack 26-6 in the first half and never recovered. They shot 16 for 52 (30.8 percent) from the field, including just 1 for 8 from beyond the arc.

Austin Peay was led by Shon Robinson’s 13 points and five rebounds, while Carlos Paez had nine points and Elijah Hutchins-Everett added eight points and four rebounds.

Second-year coach Nate James said he’s using the non-league portion of the schedule, which also includes a game at No. 11 Tennessee on Dec. 21, to get his team ready for its first season in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Austin Peay went 12-17 overall and 8-10 in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2021-22.

“To start the season, I really wanted to challenge my team in preparation for the ASUN Conference, which will be extremely competitive from top to bottom,” James said. “In that preparation, I decided to schedule an extremely tough non-conference schedule, competing against several Power 5 teams from the ACC, SEC and Big 10.”

–Field Level Media

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