Zach Edey and No. 1 seed Purdue roll into Sweet 16 with runaway win against Utah State

Sun, Mar 24, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Zach Edey and No. 1 seed Purdue roll into Sweet 16 with runaway win against Utah State

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Zach Edey had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 1 seed Purdue cruised into the Sweet 16 by pounding eighth-seeded Utah State 106-67 with an impressive offensive performance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

Trey Kaufman-Renn added 18 points and eight boards for Purdue (31-7), which broke the school's single-season record for victories. Fletcher Loyer had 15 points, and Braden Smith had all six of his assists in the second half when the Boilermakers shot 65.2% from the field before pulling the starters.

Purdue also set a school record for most points in a March Madness game. Next up is fifth-seeded Gonzaga in the Midwest Region semifinals in Detroit.

Great Osodor, the Mountain West Player of the Year, had 14 points and six rebounds for Utah State. The Aggies (28-7) were outrebounded 49-26, and they headed home still in search of the program's first regional semifinal since 1970.

The biggest reason this time was Edey, who had another dominant showing in Indianapolis, just 60 miles southeast of campus.

Purdue's career scoring and rebounding leader looks as if he's on a mission to add to his legacy following last year's embarrassing first-round exit at the hands of 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson.

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Another win would put Purdue in its first Elite Eight since 2019, when it lost in overtime to eventual national champ Virginia - one year after the Cavaliers became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed, UMBC.

With the 7-foot-4, 300-pound Edey in the middle, the Boilermakers are hoping to follow in that same path that the Cavs did when they won it all.

Edey also had three blocks, three assists and two steals in just 26 minutes against the Aggies. On Friday, he needed only 30 minutes to post the first 30-point, 20-rebound double-double during March Madness since 1995.

He became the first player with three consecutive NCAA tourney games with at least 20 points and three blocks since Shaquille O'Neal for LSU in the 1991 and 1992 tournaments, according to OptaSTATS.

Utah State threw everything it had at the giant Toronto native. It sent multiple players at him, tried to get physical and tried to frustrate him. Nothing worked.

There were murmurs in the crowd following a slow, back-and-forth start. But as Utah State's front line quickly got into foul trouble, Edey controlled the middle.

He scored the first four points in a game-changing 16-0 spurt that ended with Purdue holding a 39-24 lead.

Then the 3-point shooters got going, spurring a 20-6 run to open the second half that extended a 49-33 halftime margin to 69-39.

UP NEXT

The Purdue-Gonzaga game is a rematch from November in the Maui Invitational. Purdue won that game 73-63.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness

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