CHICAGO (AP) — Zach Edey scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and No. 5 Purdue hung on to beat Penn State 67-65 in the Big Ten Tournament championship game Sunday.
The Boilermakers (29-5) led by as much as 17 in the second half, only to have the lead shrink to one in the closing seconds. They came away with their second title to go with one in 2009. Not long after, Purdue was named a No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.
Penn State (22-13) made things interesting in the final minute. Purdue led 66-60 when Myles Dread nailed a 3 with 16 seconds remaining. Evan Mahaffey then stole Brandon Newman’s inbound pass and fed Camren Wynter for a layup that made it a one-point game with six seconds remaining.
Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer then made a free throw before missing the second. Penn State’s Andrew Funk got the rebound, but after a timeout, Wynter got called for traveling just before the final buzzer.
Edey, the Big Ten Player of the Year, shook off the constant double teams and delivered another big performance for Purdue’s fifth straight win. The 7-foot-4 center made 12 of 17 shots.
David Jenkins Jr. scored 11 for the Boilermakers, who beat the Nittany Lions for the 16th time in the past 17 games.
Penn State had won eight of nine to put itself in position to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 12 years. The Nittany Lions were the third double-digit seed to reach the Big Ten final and first since Illinois in 2008.
Seth Lundy led Penn State with 19 points and Wynter scored 14. But the Nittany Lions — one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country — made just 7 of 23 from beyond the arc.
Purdue went on a 9-0 run early in the second half to break open a 43-38 game.
Edey and Caleb Furst got it started with layups, and Trey Kaufman-Renn finished it with a three-point play that stretched the lead to 52-38 with 10:10 remaining.
The lead hit 17 when Mason Gillis nailed a 3 and Edey scored on a hook, making it 60-43 with 6:18 remaining.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions had no answers for Edey and came up short on a day when the shots weren’t falling. But they could be a tough team to beat in the NCAA Tournament.
Purdue: The Boilermakers have some momentum on their side after going 4-4 over the final eight regular-season games.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions are headed to the NCAA for the first time since 2011, when they lost to Temple in the second round. Penn State was in position to make it in 2020, but the tournament got canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Purdue: Is the No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.