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Purdue 77, Illinois 71

Purdue 77, Illinois 71

STEVE STEIN
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Zach Edey had 28 points and eight rebounds as No. 3 Purdue rallied in the second half to beat No. 12 Illinois 77-71, becoming the first team in 17 years to win consecutive outright Big Ten regular-season championships.

Fletcher Loyer added 16 points for the Boilermakers (27-3, 16-3), who had already clinched at least a share of their second straight conference title with Saturday night’s victory over Michigan State.

The previous Big Ten team to win back-to-back outright regular-season crowns was Ohio State in 2006 and 2007.

Braden Smith had 13 points and six assists for Purdue, which improved to 7-0 against ranked opponents this season. Mason Gillis scored 10 off the bench.

Loyer hit a 3-pointer with 3:08 left that put Purdue ahead for good, 67-66.

Marcus Domask led second-place Illinois (22-8, 13-6) with 20 points. Coleman Hawkins had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Quincy Guerrier scored 12 for the Fighting Illini, and Terrence Shannon Jr. had 11 points on 3-for-13 shooting — including 0 of 4 from 3-point range.

Edey scored 18 points in the first half, shooting 9 of 13 from the field, but the Illini led 40-34 at halftime. Purdue didn’t take its first lead until Gillis’ 3-pointer with 10:11 left put the Boilermakers in front 56-54.

BIG PICTURE

Purdue: All three of the Boilermakers’ losses have come on the road in Big Ten games, to Northwestern, Nebraska and Ohio State. Knocking off Illinois, which had lost just twice at home all season, was an impressive addition to Purdue’s sparkling resume.

Illinois: Shannon didn’t play when Illinois lost 83-78 at Purdue on Jan. 5. It was one of six games he missed while serving a university-imposed suspension because of a rape charge in Kansas. Foul trouble kept Shannon on the bench for much of the first half Tuesday, and he wasn’t much of a factor in the game.

Purdue athletics press release

March 5, 2024





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