At halftime Monday, Gonzaga looked primed for an upset of No. 2 Purdue.
But as the second half got underway, Gonzaga couldn’t keep the momentum and Purdue seized the opportunity to secure a 73-63 win in the first round of the Maui Invitational. The victory sets up a top-10 showdown with No. 7 Tennessee on Tuesday.
The game initially saw Purdue take a 6-0 lead only for Gonzaga to counter with a 14-0 run. By halftime, Gonzaga had a five-point lead thanks to six of 19 3-point attempts. But in the second half, Gonzaga missed all 13 of their 3-point attempts while Purdue exploited its advantage in the post.
Purdue’s Zach Edey played a key role in the victory, finishing with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks, leading the charge by dominating the post and helping the Boilermakers to extend their lead in a hard-fought game.
Edey’s performance was crucial as Purdue also struggled from long distance, resorting to exploiting their advantage in the paint and racking up free throws to secure the win. Gonzaga, on the other hand, found it challenging to replace their former star player Drew Timme and adapt to new high-profile acquisitions from the transfer portal.
Purdue will now face Tennessee in their next game, while Gonzaga will have to regroup and prepare for their upcoming match against Syracuse.
It’s a pivotal win for Purdue as they look to move past last season’s historic NCAA tournament disappointment, while Gonzaga remains determined to find their footing after significant player departures. The action continues to unfold with Kansas also securing a victory over Chaminade in the night session in Maui.