HONOLULU – Gonzaga’s offense cooled off over the last nine minutes of the first half and never heated up in the final 20 minutes.
No. 2 Purdue took full advantage, erasing a five-point halftime deficit to pull away for a 73-63 victory Monday in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.
The 11th-ranked Zags (2-1) misfired on all 13 of its second-half 3-point attempts and finished the game at 37.7% from the field. Purdue (4-0) connected on 54.5% in the closing half and 46.7% overall. The Boilermakers outscored GU 43-28 in the second half.
Zach Edey finished with 25 points – he hit 9 of 10 free throws – and 14 rebounds to lead the Boilermakers. Lance Jones scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half. Braden Smith added 13 points, six assists and five steals.
Graham Ike led Gonzaga with 14 points and Ryan Nembhard and Nolan Hickman each added 11.
Purdue scored the game’s first six points, but Gonzaga responded with a 14-0 spurt, holding the Boilermakers scoreless for over 4 minutes.
The Zags led by as many as nine, but Purdue cut the gap for 35-30 at the break as Edey made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 4:30.
Gonzaga will face Syracuse in the consolation round tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.PST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
19:23 – PU 2, GU 0: Purdue wins the tip and Edey scores the first basket on a jump hook.
17:01 – PU 6, GU 6: Boilermakers open on a 6-0 run, but Zags answer with back-to-back 3s by Hickman and Ike.
14:44 – GU 12, PU 6: Fantastic response by the Zags, who are on a 12-0 run at the first media timeout. Ike leads with seven points and has helped throw Edey off on the other end.
Purdue’s big man is 2 of 5. The Boilermakers have missed their last seven attempts from the field and haven’t scored in 3:43.
10:04 – GU 23, PU 17: Good play from both sides, Nembhard hits a 3-pointer to rebuild the Zags lead at the U12 media timeout. Zags shooting 60% from the field and are 4 for 8 on 3s.
7:51 – GU 25, PU 19: Teams trade turnovers and fouls in a sloppy few minutes into the U8 timeout. Watson, Yeo and Stromer all with two fouls for GU, which doesn’t bode well with all three rotating in at SF.
3:41 – GU 30, PU 23: Huff hits a 3 and Nembhard makes a layup to maintain the Zags advantage at the U4 media timeout. Ike called for his second foul, adding to the trouble for GU.
33.9 – GU 35, PU 30: Gregg gets his third steal of the half, after a layup from Stromer and the Zags call a timeout.
Gonzaga quickly found a way to limit Zach Edey, going on a 14-0 run to build its lead and maintained it for over 16 minutes in the first half to lead Purdue 35-30 at halftime.
Edey leads all scorers with 15 points, but scored seven on free throws, and its just 4 of 11 from the field with three rebounds.
Zags forward Graham Ike leads GU with 10 points, while Ryan Nembhard and Nolan Hickman add seven apiece. The Zags backcourt duo played all 20 minutes in the first half.
Dusty Stromer added quality minutes for GU with five points and six rebounds. GU is running into foul trouble though. Stromer, Ike, Anton Watson, Jun Seok Yeo and Ben Gregg all have two fouls apiece.
16:26 – PU 40, GU 39: Gillis hits a free throw to give Purdue its first lead since early in the first half. Boilermakers come out strong with Jones scored seven points in the period.
15:46 – GU 41, PU 40: Zags retake the lead and Hickman is fouled at the U16 media timeout. Gregg, Ike and Watson all with three fouls for GU, which could be a problem down the stretch.
Zags just 6 of 22 on 3-pointers, though Purdue is 2 of 10.
13:14 – PU 46, GU 43: Jones makes a layup in transition and the Zags call a timeout with the Boilermakers on a 6-0 run. Jones turning it up in the second half with nine points. Edey also making more of an impact – especially on the glass – with seven rebounds (four offensive) in the half.
11:13 – PU 48, GU 45: Ike makes a layup to stop the Purdue run, but he has a turnover at the U12 media timeout.
Zags struggling to hit any shots in the second half, just 5 of 17 from the field and 0 of 9 on 3s.
7:30 – PU 56, GU 51: Boilermakes start to pull away, but the Zags get a couple of shots to fall and get possession at the U8 media timeout. Crucial stretch coming up here for the Zags with Edey ready to check back in.
4:33 – PU 61, GU 55: Watson gets a steal and a layup and the Zags call a timeout. GU trying to find a way to overcome a brutal shooting half, just 10 of 31 from the field and 0 for 12 on 3s in the half.
Purdue led by as many as 8.
3:45 – PU 66, GU 55: Nembhard air balls – the Zags 13th miss from 3 without a make in the half – and Colvin nails a 3 on the other end. GU calls a timeout and that feels like the dagger.
Gonzaga will hope this year’s early-season meeting with Purdue goes better than last time.
The Zags played well during their season-opener against Yale, making up for the loss of Steele Venters. First-year Bulldogs Braden Huff and Graham Ike have paired nicely with Anton Watson in the post. That trio will have their hands full with reigning player of the year Zach Edey.
Edey, a 7-foot-4 senior, has led Purdue to wins over Samford, Morehead State and Xavier.
The winner will advance to play Tennessee in the semifinal Tuesday.
Gonzaga has not beaten Purdue in three previous meetings. The Boilermakers crushed the Bulldogs during last year’s Phil Knight Legacy tournament, led by Zach Edey’s 23 points.
More on the Zags