Purdue and Zach Edey swat away Gophers in blowout
Minnesota managed just 39 points against the Boilermakers
MINNEAPOLIS — Zach Edey made his first imprint on the Gophers men’s basketball team only 23 seconds into Thursday’s game at Williams Arena.
On the opening possession, the Naismith player of the year frontrunner casually blocked Minnesota forward Josh Ola-Joseph’s shot in the paint. Five minutes later, Jamison Battle’s audacious dunk attempt on the 7-foot-4 Edey proved an awful idea as Edey sent the shot, and the Gophers forward, to the floor.
On the offensive end, Edey scored as many points as the entire Gophers team — 12 — in the first half. The second half wasn’t much better in No. 3 Purdue’s 61-39 breeze of a win.
The Gophers’ 12 first-half points were the fewest Purdue has allowed in a half in school history. Minnesota’s most recent scoring low was 44 points against Wisconsin in 2013, per Sports Radar’s records dating to the 2009-10 season.
Minnesota had felt better after earning its first Big Ten win a week ago at Ohio State, but even that victory hasn’t aged well. The Buckeyes lost their fifth straight game, 63-60 to Nebraska on Wednesday.
Minnesota had a one-possession loss at Wisconsin and took Nebraska to overtime before the Ohio State win. But after being run over in a 78-60 loss to Illinois on Monday, that stretch of positive play feels like a long time ago.
Battle, the Gophers’ second-leading scorer at 12.9 points per game, injured his back in the last few minutes of the Illinois loss. He played Thursday but wasn’t himself and was held scoreless in 22 minutes, missing all nine of his shots.
Dawson Garcia picked up two fouls in the first half and was held scoreless in the first half. The Gophers' leading scorer at 15.6 points per game finished with seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.
In the second half, Edey also blocked the shots of Pharrell Payne and Jaden Henley. Edey wasn’t needed on the offensive end, finishing with six makes on the nine attempts he had in the first half.
Edey had posted a then-career high 31 points and 22 rebounds in Purdue’s 90-75 win over the Gophers in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Dec. 4.
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