Aaron J. Thornton/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN — Purdue’s Zach Edey is used to getting all of the attention on the basketball court, as would be the case of a player who has a more-than-decent chance to win a few national player of the year awards for a second season running. But the Michigan Wolverines decided to not focus as many eyes and bodies on the 7-foot-4 superstar in their attempt to shut off the rest of Edey’s teammates’ water over the course of the game.

Less attention meant more attention-grabbing headlines for Edey.

Barely facing any double teams during the contest, Edey went off for a season-high 35 points to lead the second-ranked Boilermakers to an 84-76 road victory over Michigan inside Crisler Center on Sunday afternoon. Edey also grabbed 15 rebounds, with seven coming on the offensive glass, as Purdue dominated the glass to the tune of a 40-24 rebounding advantage.

The Boilermakers are on the verge of another Big Ten title, opening up a 2 1/2 game lead over second-place Illinois with just three games remaining, and they’ll have a week of rest before playing Michigan State at home on Saturday to try and clinch a share of the conference championship.

“I’m used to getting doubled as soon as I catch it, as soon as I dribble, but they wanted to play me 1-on-1,” Edey said. “My teammates recognized that and got me the ball a lot. I just tried to do what I do.”

All Edey did was go 14-of-18 from the field, falling just three points short of his career high.

The bliss in Ann Arbor that arose after Michigan won the national championship just over a month ago has now been replaced by disappointment and apathy for the basketball counterparts, as the Wolverines have now lost 10 of their last 11 games and are close to securing a last-place finish in the league. The embodiment of the Wolverines’ lackluster season on the hardwood was in the stands, as almost half of the spectators inside were clad in black and gold to support Purdue.

“It felt like Mackey Arena in there tonight,” Michigan senior forward Terrance Williams II said.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’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 19 pictures in total.

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Tags : Big Ten ConferenceCollege BasketballMichigan WolverinesPurdue Boilermakers

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