Gonzaga looked primed at halftime for an upset Monday of No. 2 Purdue.
But Gonzaga’s shooters went cold as Purdue repeatedly looked to Zach Edey in the post to secure a 73-63 win in the first round of the Maui Invitational. Purdue rallied from a 35-30 halftime deficit then controlled the latter portion of the second half for a convincing win over the nation’s No. 11 team.
Purdue opened the game with a 6-0 lead on three straight made buckets. Gonzaga then countered with a 14-0 run en route to a 20-12 lead, hitting three 3-pointers in the process. By halftime, the Bulldogs had connected on 6 of 19 3-point attempts while building the five-point lead. But they wouldn’t hit another.
The Boilermakers opened the second half with a 10-4 run to retake a 40-39 lead in a game that remained back-and-forth through through most of the second half. But Purdue outscored Gonzaga 17-10 in the final 6:46 to extend a 56-53 lead into a 10-point win. The Bulldogs missed all 13 of their second-half 3-point attempts while the Boilermakers dominated the post.
Edey finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks after struggling from the field in a 4-of-11 first half. Gonzaga had no answer for the 7-4 All-American while countering with 6-9 junior forward Graham Ike as its primary presence in the post.
The win is the first over a ranked team for Purdue this season as the Boilermakers look to bounce back from last season’s historic disappointment in the NCAA tournament. The Boilermakers lost in the first round to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson as the second-ever No. 1 seed to lose in the first round.
They return all five starters from last season’s team, including Edey, the reigning National Player of the Year.