No. 24 Purdue looks to keep rolling in rematch with Minnesota
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No. 24 Purdue looks to keep pace in the competitive Big Ten when it visits Minnesota on Thursday at Minneapolis.
The Boilermakers (13-7, 8-5) rolled to an 81-62 win over the then-No. 21 Golden Gophers on Jan. 30 in West Lafayette, Ind.
Purdue outscored Minnesota 51-27 in the second half. The Boilermakers shot 60 percent after the break and were 8-of-10 from 3-point range after going 0-for-5 in the first half.
Purdue trailed by as much as 14 points in the contest.
In their win over Northwestern last Saturday, the Boilermakers got 53 of their 75 points from freshmen. Jaden Ivey led the way with a career-high 20 points.
Zach Edey had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and the Boilermakers won for the sixth time in eight games. Coach Matt Painter got his 350th career win; the team had a season-high 10 steals in the victory.
Purdue welcomed back shooting specialist Sasha Stefanovic after three games out due to COVID-19 protocols. Stefanovic scored just four points, but his presence was welcome.
"He's a great leader whether or not he's scoring the ball," Ivey told the Purdue Exponent. "That first game (back) is hard. He brings a ton of energy."
Edey said the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week, Ivey, keeps a cool head about things.
"He's always like that," Edey said. "He's a complete player. He's pretty good at basketball."
Trevion Williams is Purdue's leading scorer and rebounder and 15.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.
Purdue is 24-16 all time against Minnesota but 7-10 away from home since 1999.
The Gophers (12-7, 5-7) were 10-2 overall after 12 games, but things haven't gone so well of late. Minnesota is 0-6 on the road this season.
The Gophers are coming off a 79-61 win over Nebraska on Monday, which ended a three-game losing streak. Marcus Carr led the way with 21 points for Minnesota.
"I wanted to come in (Monday) and not take this one lightly," Carr told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Just wanted to get back on track. Erase these past three games and play like we know we can play."
Now comes a test against Purdue for Minnesota. The Gophers will have redemption on their minds.
"There's no team more physical than the team we're about to play," Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino said. "I thought we took a major step forward."
Carr is Minnesota's leading scorer at 19.9 points per game. But the Gophers have made just 29.4 percent of their 3-pointers on the season.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 9, 2021