PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Zach Edey had 26 points and 12 rebounds and became the sixth player in Big Ten Conference history to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 boards in leading No. 2 Purdue to a tough 68-60 victory over Rutgers on Sunday.
Braden Smith had his best game in a month and added 19 points to help the Boilermakers (19-2, 8-2) win their fifth straight game and end a three-game losing streak at Jersey Mike’s Arena. It was only their third win over Rutgers (10-9, 2-6) in the last eight meetings overall.
Aundre Hyatt had 15 points and Cliff Omoruyi 13 for Scarlet Knights, who made it a game by shooting 50% in the second half to twice draw within two points after being down by 14.
The last time was when freshman Gavin Griffiths hit a jumper 5:19 to play to cut the Purdue lead to 55-53.
Smith, who had not scored more than 14 points in his last nine games, drove the lane to push the lead back to four.
After Omoruyi made one of two free throws, Fletcher Loyer made three free throws after being fouled on a long-range shot, Smith hit a layup and Edey had a dunk to put the game out of reach.
Rutgers had no field goals in the final 2:02 and only two in the final 5:19 in losing at home for the second time in 11 games this season.
Trailing by 33-20 at halftime after being held to 27% shooting from the field, Rutgers found its shooting touch in the second half and used a 19-7 run to almost wipe out a Purdue lead.
Purdue: It struggled in the second half at Rutgers but that has been the norm. The Boilermakers are 4-2 on the road, so six of its final 10 conference games will be at home, where it is undefeated in league play this season.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights at 2-5 since the start of the year and the problem continues to be putting together a 40-minute game.
Purdue: Hosts Northwestern on Wednesday.
Rutgers: Hosts Penn State on Wednesday.
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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball