DETROIT – Carsen Edwards scored 15 points and second-seeded Purdue eventually shook off the rust from a long layoff and routed Cal State Fullerton 74-48 Friday to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Playing for the first time in nearly two weeks after losing to Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament final, the Boilermakers (29-6) struggled to make shots down low and beyond the 3-point line and simply looked out of sync.
Purdue advanced to face the Arkansas-Butler winner.
The Titans (20-12) led midway through the first half, and then Edwards took over. He had a go-ahead layup and scored seven more points to help Purdue lead 31-20 at halftime.
The Big West Tournament champions couldn’t put up much resistance in the second half as Purdue started making 3-pointers and using its Big Ten big bodies score inside to lead by 20-plus points.
Even with a big lead, though, Purdue coach Matt Painter kept pushing his teas to defend closely and share the ball offensively. Vince Edwards took heed and hustled back to block Jamal Smith’s attempt on a breakaway layup.
Edwards, looking healthy after being slowed by an ankle injury, scored 15 and P.J. Thompson added 11 points. Isaac Haas overcame a sluggish start to have nine points and 10 rebounds, but he left the game briefly midway through the second half after aggravating his banged-up right elbow that he hurt in a win over Louisville in November.
Cal State Fullerton’s Kyle Allman scored 21 and Jackson Rowe had 10 points.
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