No. 2 Purdue holds off Rutgers for 5th straight win

Zach Edey scored 16 of his 26 points in the second half and No. 2 Purdue staved off host Rutgers to secure a 68-60 victory Sunday afternoon in Piscataway, N.J.

Edey added 12 rebounds and four blocks and Braden Smith put up 19 points as the Boilermakers (19-2, 8-2 Big Ten) won their fifth in a row and broke a three-game losing streak at Rutgers.

Purdue led by 14 early in the second half but watched the Scarlet Knights (10-9, 2-6) draw within 50-48 in the closing minutes.

The Boilermakers clung to a 57-54 lead when Fletcher Loyer was fouled on a 3-point try with 3:27 left. Loyer made all three foul shots, Smith converted a layup high off the glass and Edey added his fourth dunk of the day for the exclamation point.

Rutgers’ Aundre Hyatt scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the second half. Cliff Omoruyi totaled 13 points as the Scarlet Knights shot 50 percent in the second half but just 37.5 percent for the game. Purdue finished 48.9 percent from the floor.

Mason Gillis, Smith and Caleb Furst each scored in a 64-second stretch to fuel a 9-1 Purdue run and put the Boilermakers up 21-7 midway through the first half.

The Scarlet Knights used a timeout to gather themselves and responded with a 9-0 spurt to pull within five points. Gillis answered with a 3-pointer and another jumper, and Edey scored Purdue’s final seven points of the first half to establish a 33-20 halftime lead. Purdue outshot Rutgers 50 percent to 26.5 percent in the half.

Rutgers went 0-for-8 from deep in the first half, but Hyatt made the Scarlet Knights’ first 3-pointer as they heated up early in the second. Gavin Griffiths bookended a 9-0 run with a triple and a fadeaway two-pointer to cut Purdue’s lead to five.

Edey and Smith scored all of Purdue’s second-half points until Lance Jones’ steal and score made it 50-43. Rutgers responded with five points, Noah Fernandes’ open 3 cutting the margin to two with 8:12 to play.

Edey scored the next five, including a three-point play, to give Purdue some room.

Jones had 10 rebounds and eight assists to go with four points for Purdue.