Recap and highlights: No. 1 seed Purdue proves too much in second half of 80-68 win over Gonzaga in Sweet 16

Mar. 29—DETROIT — Superstar big man Zach Edey led the charge as top-seeded Purdue separated in the second half and put an end to Gonzaga's NCAA Tournament run.

Edey, the reigning national player of the year, piled up 27 points and 14 rebounds, guiding the Boilermakers to an 80-68 win over No. 5 seed Gonzaga on Friday in the Sweet 16 at Little Caesars Arena.

The Zags (27-8) traded blows with the Boilermakers (32-4) throughout the first half, but the underdogs lost steam a few minutes into the second half while Purdue found its rhythm. The Boilermakers went on a 16-2 run that spanned 5 minutes to take a 69-53 lead with about 8 minutes remaining, and they stayed ahead comfortably the rest of the way.

Edey went 10 of 15 from the field to pace an efficient outing from Purdue, which shot 57% from the field and 9 of 20 from 3-point range. Boilermakers guard Braden Smith had 14 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds. Purdue assisted on 24 of its 32 field goals and outrebounded Gonzaga 32-25.

Forward Graham Ike led the Bulldogs with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Anton Watson added 14 points, but had to sit for much of the second half due to foul trouble. Guard Nolan Hickman contributed 16 points, and point guard Ryan Nembhard had 14 points and seven assists.

The Zags shot 49.2% from the floor and 6 of 19 (31.6%) on 3-point attempts.

Purdue qualified for its sixth Elite Eight in program history, and its first since 2019. The Boilermakers will meet the winner of Tennessee/Creighton. The Bulldogs were denied their seventh overall Elite Eight appearance.


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First half

18:21 — UP 2, GU 2: Both teams miss their first attempts, but hit their second, as Edey and Nembhard get on the board.

15:33 — GU 12, UP 7: Ike and Nembhard hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Zags the lead at the U16 media timeout. Nembhard leads with five points.

Edey has four points for Purdue and Gregg went to the bench with two quick fouls.

10:57 — GU 20, UP 17: Nembhard steering the offense to keep the Zags ahead at the U12 media timeout. He has eight points and three assists. Edey landed on Nembhard on the play before the break and Few was upset no foul was called. Edey has six points and three rebounds.

8:11 — UP 28, GU 24: Smith and Jones hit back-to-back 3-pointer and Gonzaga calls a timeout. Purdue has been red-hot from outside (6 of 9), capitalizing as GU closes in on Edey inside.

6:19 — GU 29, UP 28: Edey briefly checks out and the Zags take the lead on a put-back dunk from Ike and a corner 3-pointer from Watson. Zags with possession and Edey coming back in after the U8 media timeout.

3:09 — GU 33, UP 33: Hickman and Jones trade layups and Jones is called for a foul at the U4 media timeout. Nine lead changes and six ties so far.


Zach Edey made a dunk and was fouled to give Purdue a 40-36 lead on Gonzaga at halftime.

Edey was quiet for a long stretch, but still has 11 points and six rebounds.

The Boilermakers have the edge mainly due to their 3-point shooting (7 of 13). Still, the Zags are in it. There were 12 lead changes and six ties in the first half.

Graham Ike leads Gonzaga with 12 points and six rebounds. Ryan Nembhard adds eight points and five assists.

Ben Gregg has three fouls and Anton Watson has two.

Second half

16:24 — UP 51, GU 42: Tough start for the Zags, as Purdue goes on a 9-1 run to build its largest lead of the night. Watson also called for his third foul. GU takes a timeout with Purdue a perfect 5 of 5 in the second half.

9:49 — UP 61, GU 53: Zags had the lead cut to 3, but Purdue takes back control and Ike is called for a foul at the U12 media timeout. That's his second, Watson went to the bench with four fouls.

Ike up to 18 points and eight rebounds, doing his best against Edey, who has 15 and 13. Boilermakers with six second chance points this half.

8:52 — UP 67, GU 53: Heide hits a 3-pointer and Gonzaga calls a timeout with Purdue on a 14-2 run. Heavy Boilermakers crowd going wild in Detroit. Zags in trouble now.

6:36 — UP 69, GU 57: Watson back in the game, he scores a layup and then Ike is called for his third foul on the other end at the U8 media timeout.

3:24 — UP76, GU 59: Ike picks up his fifth foul and Purdue pulls away at the U4 media timeout. Looks like they going to win this one and advance to play the winner of tonight's game between Creighton and Tennessee.

Ike finishes with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Watson has 13 points and four rebounds.

Gonzaga starters: Ryan Nembhard, Nolan Hickman, Ben Gregg, Anton Watson, Graham Ike.

Purdue's five: Braden Smith, Fletcher Loyer, Lance Jones, Trey Kaufman-Renn, Zach Edey.

Gregg in place of Stromer is the only change in either lineup since the game in Honolulu.


Gonzaga has checked many boxes over its quarter-century run of playing in NCAA Tournaments, but never this.

The Zags have never beaten a No. 1 seed, having gone 0-9 in such games.

They'll have another shot today when they tipoff against the Purdue Boilermakers in the Sweet 16. Game time is set for 4:39 p.m. on TBS and TruTV.

The Bulldogs (27-7) blew past Kansas in the second half on Saturday to clinch their spot in Detroit today. Against Purdue, the Zags have a rematch of the Maui Invitational, where they led in the second half, but ran out of steam.

GU has come a long way since that game, but so have the Boilermakers (31-4) and reigning player of the year Zach Edey.

Purdue won the Big Ten regular-season title and crushed Grambling State and Utah State in the first two rounds of the tournament.

A win would give Mark Few's Gonzaga squad a second-straight trip to the Elite Eight and fourth in the last five tournaments. Purdue last made the Elite Eight in 2019 — its only since 2000 — and has not made the Final Four since 1980.

Team stats

Game preview

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