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Purdue 98, Penn State 78

Purdue 98, Penn State 78

BY MICHAEL MAROT
ASSOcIATED PRESS

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue fans treated Zach Edey to a pregame standing ovation in commemoration of him becoming the school’s second player with 1,000 career rebounds.

They serenaded him again following another milestone moment.

The reigning national player of the year scored 30 points, grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds and watched his teammates make 11 3-pointers as No. 1 Purdue routed Penn State 95-78.

“Not many people can say they’ve had 30 and 20 multiple times in their career at Purdue,” Edey said after achieving the feat for the second time. “I do get to say that, so it’s a pretty surreal feeling.”

For Edey, this was as impressive a game as he’s played. In the first half, he had 19 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two blocks while going 6 of 6 from the field. He finished 10 of 12 from the field and produced just the third 30-20 game with three blocks and three rebounds.

And he had plenty of help.

The Boilermakers added eight 3s in the first half as they took a 56-36 halftime lead. Lance Jones added 14 points, Fletcher Loyer had 11 and Braden Smith matched his career high with 11 assists.

Purdue (15-2, 4-2 Big Ten) rebounded from Tuesday’s loss to Nebraska with its 10th consecutive home game — and their eighth straight over the Nittany Lions.

“The big guy played great today — 30 and 20, that’s Wilt Chamberlain-type numbers,” Penn State coach Mike Rhoades said. “We just didn’t have an answer for him.”

Nick Kern Jr. had a career-high 18 points to lead Penn State and Kanye Clary added 16. The Nittany Lions (8-9, 2-4) have lost three of four overall.

But this was a complete a mismatch and Purdue took full advantage after the first five minutes.

Camden Heide’s 3 with 15:13 left in the half gave Purdue an 11-10 lead and spurred a 31-5 run, forcing the Nittany Lions to take a timeout twice. When the run ended, the Boilermakers led 39-15.

The Nittany Lions responded with a flurry of 3s late in the first half but never got closer than 14.

“He’s here and he’s obviously a special player, but he’s also one of those guys,” coach Matt Painter said of Edey. “If you’ve faced him, he’s hard to prepare for. You can watch him on film, but you don’t realize how strong he is.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Penn State: It’s been an up-and-down first season for Rhoades and this revamped roster. At times, the Nittany Lions have shown promise. But against this size, depth, experience and talent, they didn’t have a chance.

Purdue: If there’s a common thread for the Boilermakers it’s this: They’re not losing back-to-back games. They played with the edge that Painter wants, which was missing earlier this week at Nebraska. Purdue needs to keep playing this way if it hopes to defend last season’s regular-season conference title.

Purdue athletics press release

January 13, 2024





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