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Zach Edey and Braden Smith help No. 2 Purdue pass first real test with 83-71 win over Xavier

Xavier Purdue Basketball
Posted at 8:01 AM, Nov 14, 2023

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Zach Edey finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds while Braden Smith added 12 points and seven assists to give No. 2 Purdue an 83-71 victory over Xavier in Monday night's Gavitt Tipoff game.
The Boilermakers (3-0) extended their school record for consecutive regular-season wins against non-conference opponents to 27. They also snapped a five-game losing streak to the Musketeers by winning their first game in the series since December 2001. The schools last met in 2012.

Xavier (2-1) was led by Desmond Claude with 15 points and six assists. Three players had 10 points.

But, as most teams do, the Musketeers struggled to contend with Edey, the 7-foot-4 center and last season's national player of the year. Abou Ousmane, a 6-10 forward, drew the defensive assignment on Edey and spent most of the night in foul trouble before drawing his fifth foul with 8:04 to play.

Still, Xavier made life more difficult for the Boilermakers than last week when they won two games by more than 30 points each.

Purdue scored the final four points of the first half to take a 37-29 lead and still couldn't pull away after extending the margin to 46-35 early in the second half. But an 11-5 spurt allowed the Boilermakers to open up a 71-57 cushion with 6:28 to go. Xavier never seriously challenged again.

BIG PICTURE

Xavier: With six freshmen and four transfers, the Musketeers' ceiling remains a mystery. But if Monday's game is any indication, coach Sean Miller's squad could pose a real obstacle in the Big East.

Purdue: Instead of jumping out to a big, early lead and pulling away, the Boilermakers passed their first real test of the season — and just in time for next week's Maui Invitational.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

This result shouldn't affect Purdue in next week's poll, especially with no more contests this week.

GAVITT'S GAME This event has been played between Big Ten and Big East teams each November since 2015 with the exception of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the conferences have already announced the series named after the late Dave Gavitt, who helped found the Big East, would end this year. Fittingly, Gavitt's son, Dan, the NCAA's senior vice president of basketball, attended the game.

UP NEXT

Xavier: Plays Washington on Friday in Las Vegas.

Purdue: Faces No. 11 Gonzaga next Monday in Honolulu.