ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN — Purdue star big man Zach Edey made sure the Boilermakers continued to be feel right at home at the top of the national rankings with another stellar performance away from home in another impressive conference victory.
Edey scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half, while Fletcher Loyer scored 17 points as No. 1 Purdue outlasted Michigan 75-70 on the road inside of the Crisler Center on Thursday evening. After a defeat at home against Rutgers on the day after New Year’s Day, the Boilermakers have won seven consecutive games, with five of the wins coming away from West Lafayette.
Though Michigan knew that the Boilermakers’ offense was going to center around Edey, the 7-foot-4 Canadian dominated the very beginning of the contest, scoring Purdue’s first seven points of the game, finishing 7-for-12 from the field in the game’s first 20 minutes.
“He did a great job in the first half, going to his right shoulder and using his left hand,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “He made four baskets with his left hand which is huge.”
There were four ties and 10 lead changes in the first half, but the Boilermakers made the final lead chance part of the most crucial juncture of the game, going on a 15-0 run late in the first half to take a 41-28 lead after a couple of free throws from Loyer.
Michigan, playing without star freshman Jett Howard — son of Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard — due to an ankle injury, scored the final five points of the first half to go into the break down by eight, and continued to stay in touch with Purdue through the rest of the second. Joey Baker’s banked-in three-pointer got the Wolverines to within 73-70 with seven seconds remaining, but two subsequent free throws from Brandon Newman iced the game for the Boilermakers.
The win improves the Boilermakers’ road record to 7-0 on the season (6-0 in Big Ten road games), and it gave them wins on the road against Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State in the same season for the first time since 1997-98.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Detroit-area photographer Aaron J. Thornton. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 18 pictures in total.