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Zach Edey, No. 24 Purdue power past West Virginia

Sportsnaut
Purdue Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter yells down court during the NCAA men   s basketball exhibition game against the Truman State Bulldogs, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.

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Credit: Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Seven-foot-4 Zach Edey produced 24 points and 12 rebounds as No. 24 Purdue led from start to finish in an 80-68 victory over West Virginia on Thursday night during Phil Knight Legacy quarterfinal action in Portland, Ore.

Mason Gillis posted 14 points to complement Edey’s fourth double-double in as many games for the Boilermakers (4-0), who finished 24 of 28 at the free-throw line compared to West Virginia’s 11 of 17.

Purdue will face the winner of No. 2 Gonzaga or Portland in a Friday semifinal, with West Virginia opposing the loser of the Bulldogs-Pilots game.

Erik Stevenson paced the Mountaineers (4-1) with 17 points while Iowa transfer Joe Toussaint added 16 points, five rebounds and four assists.

During Purdue’s eight days off between games, coach Matt Painter complained about Edey’s lack of touches when open in the post. The Boilers threw it inside on three of their first six possessions on Thursday as Edey scored six points to help Purdue build an 11-2 lead in the first four minutes.

West Virginia pulled as close as three on Toussaint’s 3-pointer near the midpoint of the half, but the Boilermakers rebuilt the lead to 33-22 as Ethan Morton fed Edey for an alley-oop dunk before Gillis cashed in a baseline jumper with 6:18 left in the half.

Purdue owned a 43-32 halftime lead and tried to open the second half the same way as the first, but Edey missed the rim on his first two post moves and traveled on his third. Yet West Virginia wasn’t much warmer and couldn’t get closer than eight points.

West Virginia’s chances to rally shrunk even more when Purdue entered the bonus with 14:27 to go. Fletcher Loyer sank two free throws at that juncture to boost the Boilermakers’ margin to 52-39.

The Mountaineers cut the gap to 52-43 on four Stevenson free throws and regained possession with a chance to get closer, but Stevenson was stripped of the ball on a drive and injured his left calf in the process. With Purdue enjoying a five-on-four situation at the offensive end, Brandon Newman rained home an open 3-pointer from the corner to restore a 12-point lead.

Despite extensive foul trouble and Stevenson’s injury, West Virginia went on an 11-2 spree that cut the margin to 66-62 on Kedrian Johnson’s 3-pointer with 5:30 to go. The Mountaineers could not get closer as Braden Smith hit a 3-pointer and Gillis added two free throws.

–Field Level Media