WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP)Zach Edey keeps putting up big numbers – and No. 4 Purdue just keeps winning.
The 7-foot-4 center had a double-double in the first half and finished with 23 points and 18 rebounds to help the Boilermakers rout Hofstra 85-66 Wednesday night.
Edey has now scored 20 or more points in eight straight games, the longest streak during coach Matt Painter’s 18-year tenure.
This is the first time the Boilermakers (9-0) have won their first nine since 2015-16.
”We’re big and physical and I think that shows up in the rebounds on the stat sheet,” Edey said after Hofstra finished with just one offensive rebound.
Edey has accounted for 54 points and 39 rebounds in his last two games, including a win over Minnesota.
Hofstra faced an even more daunting challenge because leading scorer Aaron Estrada missed the game with an injured ankle. Redshirt freshman Amar’e Marshall responded by scoring a season-high 24 points, including half of Hofstra’s 34 first-half points.
The combination of defending Edey and losing Estrada available left the Pride (6-4) with little chance. Still, coach Speedy Claxton liked what he saw.
”What it says is we’re more than a one-man team,” he said. ”We really run a lot through Aaron and rightly so because he’s a great player. But we’ve got other players and that showed tonight.”
Hofstra dug itself a deep, early hole.
Claxton called timeout after Purdue scored the first nine points. The Boilermakers then used the combination of Edey’s inside dominance and a flurry of 3-pointers, to make it 20-2 less than six minutes into the game.
Marshall’s surprise scoring binge helped Hofstra stay within 12 – until Purdue ended the first half on an 11-3 spurt to take a 54-34 lead. The Boilermakers closed it out with a 10-2 run early in the second half.
”The first 10 minutes, we dominated that,” Painter said, noting Edey’s role in the fast start. ”Then the rest of the game was just a regular basketball game. That’s a good team. That’s an NCAA Tournament team when they get Estrada back in there.”
Hofstra: Claxton’s team has shown promise this season and it would have at least been interesting to see how it would have fared with Estrada (21.7 points). Instead, the Pride was overmatched against a far superior team.
Purdue: The Boilermakers proved their mettle during a 10-day stretch by sweeping West Virginia, Gonzaga and Duke on neutral courts, winning at Florida State and beating Minnesota at home. Purdue didn’t have to do anything so impressive Wednesday but showed no letdown.
Edey is a matchup problem for pretty much anybody. But when an opponent has nobody taller than 6-10, Edey is nearly impossible to guard – as Hofstra found out. The Canadian was 9 of 15 from the field just three days after he established new career highs with 31 points and 22 rebounds in a victory over the Golden Gophers.
Hofstra: The Pride had a two-game winning streak snapped. … Hofstra is 0-2 all-time against Purdue. … Dstone Dubar had 14 points while Tyler Thomas had 10 points and five rebounds. … Jaquan Carlos had six assists. … Marshall also had four rebounds and four assists.
Purdue: Braden Smith finished with 13 points and made three 3s. … Caleb Furst had 12 points and six rebounds. … Fletcher Loyer finished with 12 points and four assists. … The Boilermakers extended the nation’s longest active streak of consecutive non-conference wins to 21 and have now won 18 straight non-conference games at home.
Hofstra: Returns home to face UMass on Sunday.
Purdue: Visits Nebraska on Saturday – its first Big Ten road trip.
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