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Purdue and Zach Edey swat away Gophers in blowout

Minnesota managed just 39 points against the Boilermakers

Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey (15) blocks a shot by Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Jaden Henley (24) on Jan. 19, 2023 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey (15) blocks a shot by Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Jaden Henley (24) on Jan. 19, 2023 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports
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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.

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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.

Purdue Boilermakers guard David Jenkins Jr. (14) drives against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Jan. 19, 2023 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
Purdue Boilermakers guard David Jenkins Jr. (14) drives against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Jan. 19, 2023 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports

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.

MORE MINNESOTA GOPHERS COVERAGE:
Ben Johnson has experienced winless droughts both as a player and assistant coach with the Gophers
The loss was the 2nd straight by a 35-point margin
And why shouldn’t she? Indiana brings a 20-1 record and No. 4 national ranking into Wednesday’s game at the Barn
The Gophers (9-12 overall, 2-8 Big Ten) led only once, 2-0, on a layup by Rose Micheaux in the game’s first 16 seconds.
After an 81-61 loss at Northwestern on Saturday, Minnesota is 1-9 in Big Ten play with 10 games remaining
Junior wing who led Minnesota in scoring last season has struggled offensively at times this season
With two more players unavailable Wednesday, the Gophers had roughly half that roster max against Indiana at Williams Arena.
Minnesota gave itself ‘a chance,’ coach Ben Johnson said, but foul trouble for leading scorer Dawson Garcia was an issue
Illinois pulls away in 2nd half, outscoring Minnesota by 15 points
De'Vondre Campbell and Antoine Winfield Jr. were highest graded players among former Gophers

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Related Topics: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
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