Zach Edey: 16 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block
Mason Gillis: 20 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist
David Jenkins Jr: 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
Derek Simpson: 18 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
This was a tight game for the majority of the time. Purdue came out cold but picked up, taking a halftime lead. They then built a nice second half lead and kept it at the end, winning
It took some time to get going for Purdue as they came out cold shooting the ball (as has been the norm lately). Rutgers came out and pressed Purdue to which the Boilermakers had real issues. The initial Rutgers swing ballooned to a 17-5 lead and Purdue looked miserable. They could not get the ball inside whatsoever and were missing open shots left and right. Then Purdue began to go on a run, collecting fouls on Rutgers. Zach Edey got two and-1’s on back-to-back possessions and Purdue battled all the way back, taking the lead into halftime on a Mason Gillis 3. Gillis and Edey both finished the half with 10 points. David Jenkins Jr would also hit Purdue’s first 3 as well as an and-1 on a jumper and finish with 6 in the half. For Rutgers, Paul Mulcahy led the scoring with 8 and 4 other players had 4-6 points.
Another back-and-forth half for Purdue. Rutgers and Purdue kept hitting shots and nobody could establish a commanding lead. Purdue did gain a 4-point advantage after back-to-back Jenkins 3’s with the shot clock winding down. Then fouls started to accumulate for the teams as Rutgers picked up 4 fouls in one possession, including the 3rd and 4th on Omoruyi with about 8 minutes left. Purdue would go up 7 on a Braden Smith floater with 5:35 left and the crowd behind them. The lead was 4 at the under-4 timeout, Purdue up 56-52. Purdue would continue going to work, stretching the lead to 8 following a 4-0 Zach Edey run. Then the game started to get chippy. After a Brandon Newman rebound and Rutgers foul, nobody decided to let go of the ball. As Zach Edey got into the mix, an award-winning flop was committed by Paul Mulcahy as he took a dive backwards. Edey picked up a dead ball technical foul, to which Cam Spencer, the best free throw shooter in the conference, went 1-2. Newman also hit 1 of 2. Ball lies half the time. Purdue would keep the lead the rest of the way during the fouling session as time wound down. Purdue would take the game 70-65.
If David Jenkins Jr plays like this in the tourney, I will be ecstatic. The grad transfer is playing in some of his last games, but he is making them count. Much deserved for David.
Mason Gillis may get glue guy of the decade. He gives so much effort to get to loose balls and offensive rebounds, it’s incredible. He plays the game the right way and he was rewarded for it today.
Purdue moves on to take on the winner of Michigan State and Ohio State in the semifinals tomorrow at 1 PM ET. See y’all there!