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No. 2 Purdue Returns To Defeat No. 11 Gonzaga In Maui Opener

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On Monday afternoon in the first round of the Maui Invitational in Honolulu, Purdue defeated Gonzaga 73-63 thanks to a second-half comeback led by Zach Edey, who finished with game-high totals of 25 points and 14 rebounds.

The Boilermakers (4-0) fell behind by as many as nine points prior to the half despite the 13 points apiece that Lance Jones and Braden Smith contributed, with Smith dishing out six assists.

On Tuesday, Gonzaga will play Syracuse in a consolation game, while Purdue will play No. 7 Tennessee in a semifinal matchup.

In an attempt to match Edey’s scoring, Graham Ike, who led the Bulldogs (2-1) with 14 points and seven rebounds, struggled with foul trouble. Ryan Nembhard contributed six assists along with 11 points apiece from Nolan Hickman and Ryan Nembhard for Gonzaga.

The Boilermakers held the Bulldogs to 0-for-13 shooting from beyond the 3-point line in the second half as they outscored Gonzaga 43-28.

After an 8-0 run, Purdue led 48-43 thanks to an alley-oop dunk by Camden Heide with 12:01 left. With 14:53 remaining, Edey scored a dunk off a rebound after setting up a second-chance layup to give Purdue the lead for good.

For the remainder of the game, Gonzaga never got closer than three points.

Several runs in the first half gave the Bulldogs a 35-30 lead.

Before Gonzaga scored 14 points in a row, Purdue scored the first six points of the game on two Edey hook shots in the lane and a driving layup by Lance Jones.

Ike started the run with a second-chance 3-pointer. He went on to add a dunk and a hook shot of his own in the lane. Hickman had two jumpers: a pull-up and a 3-pointer.

Dusty Stromer’s 3-pointer with 2:42 remaining gave the Bulldogs a 33–24 lead.

After a layup and four free throws from Edey, the Boilermakers responded with another 6-0 run. Stromer then closed the half with a back-door layup after receiving a pass from Hickman.

Despite being restricted to just 4-of-11 field goal attempts in the first half, Edey scored 15 points by making 7 of 8 free throws. Gonzaga’s Ike scored ten points.

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