Purdue 89, Minnesota 70- Game Wrap
Purdue handles Minnesota, 89-70, in their Big Ten opener.
Zach Edey might be the nation's biggest problem. The 7'4" center just out rebounded an entire team.
Zach Edey dominated in a way few big men have, scoring 31 points and grabbing 22 rebounds. It's his first ever 30 point, 20 rebound game. When he left the game, Minnesota had 20 rebounds as a team. The would finish with 21 rebounds as a team, 1 shy of Edey's number for the game.
When you out rebound a team by yourself, you probably deserve the entirety of the first segment to be about you.
Edey was just 11 of 23 from the field but made 9 of his 10 free throw attempts, including the final two with around two minutes left before he left to a standing ovation from Mackey.
"I don't think there's a team in the country that can solve it," Coach Ben Johnson said after the game about going up against Zach Edey.
"I don't think anyone else in the country can do that," Fletcher Loyer said after the game about his big man's play.
New Starting Lineup
Mason Gillis missed his first game of the season with something Purdue diagnosed as a minor back injury.
It meant that the undefeated Boilermakers would have to shake up their starting lineup for the first time. Caleb Furst slid into the starting lineup after a strong last couple weeks off the bench. He started off strong, scoring 5 first points, including knocking down a three in the first half.
Trey Kaufman-Renn might have benefited from the extended minutes the most. The redshirt freshman looked dominant in the paint and was able to build a rhythm with the extra playing time. He played a season-high 14 minutes in the first half and produced 8 points and 4 rebounds. His previous game-high for minutes was 17 total.
Trey Kaufman-Renn and Caleb Furst would both finish the game scoring 10 points and combining for 8 rebounds.
After the game Matt Painter updated Mason Gillis' status. Gillis hurt his back lifting. They don't have a time table for his return yet.
Purdue's 2nd Half Defense Disappoints
After holding Minnesota to 27 points in the first half on 40% shooting, the Golden Gophers responded by having the best offensive half of their season.
Minnesota went 17-32 in the second half and kept Purdue from completely running away from it in the second half. Minnesota made 7 of their 13 three-point attempts. Purdue came into the game as one of the nation's best perimeter defending teams.
Purdue limited any second-chance points, but Matt Painter won't be happy with his team's second half defense.
"They went on that 5 minute run where it felt like they weren't missing at all," Zach Edey said about the second half defensive performance.
Jamison Battle had 21 points and 2 assists. He made 5 of his 10 three-point attempts.
Ta'lon Cooper had 15 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Joshua Ola-Joseph was the third Gopher in double-figures with 10 points in 18 minutes.
Mackey Arena was packed and the crowd was waiting to get loud. A lot had happened in the last 19 days since Purdue last played a home game.
Purdue beat Gonzaga and Duke, winning the Phil Knight Legacy tournament, and went on the road to beat Florida St.. What was a young and developing team when they left West Lafayette three weeks ago.
They reappear as the #5 team in the country with the nation's best resume. Purdue faithful wanted a reason to celebrate that and they got it when Brandon Newman caught fire late in the first half.
Purdue was controlling Minnesota in the early part of the game, but their offense wasn't firing on all cylinders. Minnesota was defending Edey inside well and he was missing looks he usually makes. Then David Jenkins Jr. started to push the ball in transition and find his shooters.
First he found Newman on the left corner who paused for a second before rising up and making his first jumper of the game. His foot was barely on the line. The next play, Jenkins Jr. pushed it up the right side of the floor and found Fletcher Loyer who drained a three.
When Brandon Newman came hard off a screen on the left side and knocked down a catch and shoot three-pointer, Mackey Arena was reaching decibels that might have traveled all the way to Portland where Purdue's season announced itself as something potentially special.
The three put Purdue up 40-20 and all but stamped the game for Purdue.
Brandon Newman would finish the game with 13 points off the bench, including two three-pointers.
Zach Edey Player of the Year Campaign remains strong.
Zach Edey did not have his best start of the season, but the big man continues to be one of the nation's most productive players. He had his 6th double-double of the game wrapped up with minutes to spare in the first half. He finished the first half with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Edey's numbers won't be matched by many, but they hardly tell the tale of how dominant the big man was from buzzer to buzzer.
"He gets a lot of attention and he's still pretty productive," Matt Painter said about Zach Edey.
Fletcher Loyer's Passing
There's a lot of things that get Mackey Arena excited.
Currently the top of the list is alley oops thrown to Zach Edey. Which Fletcher Loyer did in dramatic fashion as he sailed the pass up for the big man who finished it with a foul in the first half. It was part of a 5 assist first half for Loyer who didn't turn the ball over and knocked down two first half threes as well.
Loyer started off finding points for others, but got it going himself in the second half. Fletcher Loyer had his first career 20 point game, knocking down 2 three-pointers, and finishing 7-11 from the floor. He made all 4 of his free throw attempts. He finished the game with 8 assists and didn't turn the ball over.