Zach Edey Delivers Game-Winning Basket to Push No. 3 Purdue Past Michigan State

Zach Edey Delivers Game-Winning Basket to Push No. 3 Purdue Past Michigan State

Updated: 2 months, 9 days, 17 hours, 26 minutes, 17 seconds ago

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Junior center Zach Edey scored a career-high 32 points and came down with 17 rebounds to spearhead No. 3 Purdue basketball in a narrow 64-63 nail-biter against Michigan State on Monday at the Breslin Center.

For most of the afternoon, the Boilermakers were one-dimensional on offense. But Edey delivered the game-winning basket with 2.2 seconds left on the clock to put a stamp on his performance. He was 13-of-26 from the floor in 37 minutes of playing time.

“You can look at the stats and say I had a good game, but I felt like a really missed a lot of shots that usually go down for me,” Edey said. “I think I was getting good shots. That’s one thing that [coach Matt Painter] always says, just don’t get discouraged by taking good shots.

“I felt like a lot of shots I was missing were routine hooks for me. I just kept going back to them, and eventually, they started falling in the second half. I probably could’ve had 40 if my routine hooks were going down.”

Purdue needed every last one of Edey’s buckets down the stretch as Michigan State senior guard Tyson Walker registered a season-high 30 points on 12-of-23 shooting, including four 3-pointers. He scored the final 12 points for the Spartans and had a chance to win the game at the buzzer.

“Obviously he’s a good player, but he just got in such a rhythm on his catch-and-shoots and his dribble pull-ups,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said of Walker. “Then he got mismatches and made some tough shots.”

The early goings of the first half featured pesky defense from both teams, but Purdue was quick to find its rhythm by forcing Michigan State into four turnovers in three minutes and taking advantage with one-on-one opportunities in the paint.

Edey scored the first six points of the game for the Boilermakers before freshman guard Fletcher Loyer buried a 3-pointer coming out of the first media timeout. Their scoring efforts sparked a 10-0 run that gave the team a 14-5 lead until the Spartans answered with just over 11 minutes left before halftime.

Michigan State responded by getting a pair of jumpers to fall, but the Spartans made just five of their first 15 shots from the field. Purdue led by as many as 13 points in the first half, paced by Edey’s 17 points and 10 rebounds. He went 7-of-16 from the floor before halftime.

However, Edey was essentially the only offense for the Boilermakers as the rest of the team shot 3-of-11 from the field in the opening period. When he couldn’t find the bottom of the net, the Spartans capitalized and eventually put together a 10-1 run to cut into their double-digit deficit.

Purdue went into the locker room with a 27-25 advantage, making just one field goal in the final six minutes before the break. In the same span, Michigan State went 6-of-9 on its shot attempts. Senior guard Tyson Walker had 11 points, including a key 3-pointer to end the half.

“He’s a really good player, and they have a ton of great players around him that can shoot,” sophomore forward Caleb Furst said. “At the end of the day, coach Painter talked about when it gets loud in there, there’s one thing you can do and that’s your job.

“So just keep doing your job. Just keep sticking to what we talk about, what we go over day in and day out, and trust in what’s gotten us to this point.”

The Spartans continued its momentum into the second half, scoring the first seven points after halftime. The Boilermakers were just 1-of-9 from the field before Loyer connected on his second 3-pointer of the afternoon.

In desperate need of offense, freshman guard Braden Smith got Purdue into a groove, scoring on a second-chance layup before assisting on consecutive baskets by Edey, which included an and-one that capped a 7-0 run to regain the lead.

In the final five minutes, Walker and Loyer took over the game for their respective teams. Michigan State shot just 6-of-19 from the 3-point line, but Walker buried back-to-back attempts from beyond the arc to kickstart a stretch of 12 consecutive points.

His final bucket of the game put the Spartans ahead 63-62 with 12 seconds left to play. Walker was one of three Michigan State players to finish in double figures. 

Loyer went toe-to-toe with the veteran guard by notching 14 of his 17 points during the second half. The freshman had nine straight points before Edey found the winning shot and made all five of his free throw attempts.

“We knew on those ball screens they were hedging pretty hard, so I knew I could get to the rim a little bit and just took advantage of those opportunities,” Loyer said. “With Zach drawing so much attention all throughout the game, we knew those lanes would be open to drive and those kick-outs would be there.”

But when it mattered most, Painter went back to his star player, and Edey capitalized on another one-on-one opportunity to help Purdue stay undefeated on the road. The Boilermakers improved to 17-1 overall and 6-1 in Big Ten play, their best start since the 1987-88 season.

“A lot of people look at our plays and say, man, you guys do a great job,” Painter said. “If you don't have the horses, those plays don't work. It's a player-driven deal, and Zack can get that deep position. He's definitely a safety net for all of us, especially in late-game situations.” 

Purdue, Michigan State Live Blog: No. 3 Purdue basketball improved to 17-1 and 6-1 in Big Ten play with a win over Michigan State on Monday at the Breslin Center. Relive some of the action with our live blog. CLICK HERE 

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