Purdue 78, Grambling 50

Purdue 78, Grambling 50


INDIANAPOLIS - Zach Edey had the first 30-point, 20-rebound game in the NCAA Tournament since 1995, delivering on his promise to end the discussion about first-round March Madness exits by leading top-seeded Purdue Boilermakers past 16th-seeded Grambling State 78-50.

The greatest scorer and rebounder in school history finished with 30 points and 21 rebounds in 30 minutes, going 11 of 17 from the field. When he did miss, he often scored on putbacks or drew fouls. Defensively, he constantly challenged the Tigers with his 7-foot-4, 300-pound body, blocked shots, and gobbled up even more rebounds as he set up a second-round contest Sunday against either eighth-seeded Utah State or ninth-seeded TCU.

How good was Edey? The last player with a 30-20 game in the tournament was Joe Smith of Maryland on March 18, 1995.

Braden Smith added 11 points and 10 assists for the Boilermakers (30-4), who tied the school’s single-season record for victories. Purdue had a 48-23 rebounding advantage.

This was a far different story from the one that played out 372 days earlier, when the Boilermakers fell to Fairleigh Dickinson to become the second No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This time, they left no doubt about who had the better team — or the better players.

Purdue took a 36-27 halftime lead in front of a sellout crowd largely clad in their dominant black color, 60 miles from the school’s campus. Edey then proceeded to lead the Boilermakers on an 18-6 spurt to open the second half and never looked back.

Tra’Michael Moton scored 21 points and Kintavious Dozier finished with 16 for the Tigers (21-15), the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament champs who emerged as an early darling when they beat Montana State in overtime in the First Four to earn their first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

March 22, 2024