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Mar 29, 2024 9:55 pm

Zach Edey (27 points), top-seeded Purdue put away Gonzaga

Gonzaga Bulldogs, Purdue Boilermakers

DETROIT — Zach Edey powered his way to 27 points and 14 rebounds and top-seeded Purdue pulled away to an 80-68 Sweet 16 victory over No. 5 seed Gonzaga in the Midwest Region on Friday night.

Braden Smith racked up 14 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds for Purdue, which advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2019. Lance Jones supplied 12 points for the Boilermakers (32-4) and Fletcher Loyer added 10.

The Boilermakers shot 57.1 percent from the field and outscored the Bulldogs 42-26 in the paint.

Graham Ike had 18 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out for Gonzaga (27-8), which shot 49.2 percent. Nolan Hickman had 16 points, while Ryan Nembhard and Anton Watson added 14 apiece.

Neither team led by more than five points during the first half. Purdue emerged with a 40-36 lead as Edey converted a three-point play in the closing seconds. Gonzaga’s Ben Gregg picked up his third foul trying to stop Edey’s dunk.

Jones finished the half with 12 points and Edey had 11. Ike led Gonzaga with 12 points and Watson tossed in 10. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field, but the points came in the halfcourt as the teams combined for just five fastbreak points.

Purdue extended its lead early in the second half with inside baskets, but they came from Trey Kaufman-Renn rather than Edey. Kaufman-Renn scored three baskets in the lane during the first 2:25. A Loyer jumper and 3-pointer off a Smith feed made it 51-42.

That forced Gonzaga coach Mark Few to call timeout. The Bulldogs responded with a 9-2 spurt, capped by a Hickman 3-pointer.

The Boilermakers answered with six straight points for a 59-51 advantage. An Edey dunk with 9:20 left delivered the first double-digit lead of the contest.

Camden Heide’s 3-pointer 26 seconds later pushed Purdue’s lead to 67-53. Edey then scored again for a 16-point advantage.

Gonzaga trailed by double digits the remainder of the game.

–Dana Gauruder, Field Level Media

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