Zach Edey had 24 points and 16 rebounds and Braden Smith’s two free throws with 3.9 seconds left helped No. 3 Purdue hold off a furious second-half Maryland charge for a 58-55 victory Sunday.
The Boilermakers are off to the best start in school history (19-1, 8-1 Big Ten). They have won six in a row and are the fifth team in the conference since 2000 to win 19 of their first 20 games. Edey had his 16th double-double of the season.
Zach Edey, Purdue holds off Maryland
National Player of the Year candidate Zach Edey was too much for the Terps, with 24 points and 16 rebounds.
Julian Reese scored 19 points to help the Terrapins (12-7, 3-5) overcome a 14-point halftime deficit for a chance to force overtime.
Maryland got within three points four times, but it wasn’t until Jahmir Young made two free throws with 5.3 seconds left that the Terps pulled within one.
Smith then made his free throws, and Young’s 30-footer to force overtime hit the backboard as the buzzer sounded. The Terrapins have lost four of their last six.
Purdue never trailed, taking immediate control with a burst with 41 seconds left in the first half that led to a 7-0 run to make it 20-7. They drew four fouls during that period.
But after trailing by 16, Reese rallied his teammates on a 9-3 run to open the second half. Maryland used a 10-2 run to close within 52-49 with 6:13 to play, but made just two baskets the rest of the game.
Braden Smith connects with Zach Edey
Purdue’s Braden Smith and Zach Edey combine for an easy game against Maryland.
Maryland: Instead of gaining momentum after Thursday’s win over Michigan, the Terrapins got off to a slow start and fell short again on the road. Maryland, once ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press poll, is 0-6 away from home in league play and must solve the road mystery to stay in the NCAA tournament hunt.
Purdue: The Boilermakers have been a model of consistency in recent years. They have held 21 consecutive opponents to 70 points or fewer and are now 52-5 at home since 2014-15 when classes are in session. But Purdue needs to develop a stronger knockout punch than it showed to stay atop the Big Ten standings.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SURVEY
Purdue began the day as one of four Division I teams with just one loss, and the only Power Five representative on the list. Thanks to Saturday’s loss to No. 2 Kansas, the Boilermakers should move back to No. 2 and if Houston loses to Temple, Purdue could regain the top spot.
UNTIL THE NEXT
Maryland: Returns home Wednesday to host Wisconsin.
Purdue: Visits Michigan on Thursday, its second trip north of the state line in two weeks.
Report from The Associated Press.
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